North Korea: Daily Life

Hinge Points: An Inside Look at North Korea’s Nuclear Program

Country and People

“I appreciated the deeply held view Lewis had that a better understanding of the North’s people and institutions was going to be crucial if we were ever going to develop the comprehensive approach required to solve the nuclear problem”

Hecker, Hinge Points, p.113.

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City view from a high point in the morning light

Early morning view of Pyongyang. The Juche Tower is seen in the distance. Feb. 2008

City intersection with busy sidewalks in crisp morning light

City corner in Pyongyang bustling with morning activity

Young woman in warm winter uniform with a conductor stick in hand directing street traffic

Women traffic controllers remained on Pyongyang intersections until 2009-2010. Feb. 2008

View from the bridge over a wide flowing river to a towering structure on the right bank

View of the Juche Tower from a bridge over Taedong River. Feb. 2008

Brightly illuminated buildings in the dark Pyongyang

The Juche Tower brightly illuminated at night. Feb. 2008

A decorative street poster in red colors announcing the national holiday

Streets decorated for the Day of the Shining Star on February 16, public holiday celebrating the birthday of Kim Jong-Il.

Large group of young people walk in pairs along the street decorated with pennant banners

Organized cultural outing to celebrate the Day of the the Shining Star. Feb. 2008

Sidewalks are very busy on a cold Pyongyang morning. Lots of people moving in groups, two women in traditional long robes under winter jackets

Sidewalks are very busy on a cold Pyongyang morning. Feb. 2008

Young woman walking in alley with a cell phone at her ear.

In 2010 we saw cell phones in use on the streets of Pyongyang for the first time. Nov. 2010.

People walking briskly to work on a hazy morning

On the way to work. Another busy morning in Pyongyang. Nov. 2006

Small kid in bright winter coat and beanie hat looking sideways inside a street food kiosk

The corner food kiosk next to the hotel always had people traffic. Feb. 2008

Uniformed street food vendor inside her booth

The corner food kiosk next to the hotel always had people traffic. Feb. 2008

Bundled up people in bus line

On a bus stop in Pyongyang. Feb. 2008

;Men playing soccer in the background of the photo

Game of soccer for a mid-day workout. Feb. 2008

People on a city street under umbrellas in rain

Rainy day in Pyongyang. Aug. 2007

View from the back, woman leading three small kids on a wide nicely paved sidewalk

Off to kinder garden. Pyongyang, Nov. 2006

Busy aisle inside a covered market gallery

Tong-il Street Market, a huge building packed with what seemed to be thousands of people and lots of goods, mainly of Chinese origin. Jan. 2004

Shoppers standing near the entrance to city market. A van in parked close to the door.

At the front entrance to the Tong Il street market, one of several large district markets in Pyongyang. Nov. 2006

Two women in colored winter jackets striding along a city street

People in the Pyongyang streets were dressed warm and in bright colors. Feb. 2009

Bride in long orange robe and the groom in traditional suit surrounded by men and being addressed by another woman in a long Korean robe

A Korean wedding scene caught during one of the stops of the Pyongyang tour. Jan. 2004

Korean woman in skirt suit is standing in front of a large wall painting of two North Korea leaders

Principal in Pyongyang school meeting the Stanford delegation in front of the portrait of the Great Leader and Dear Leader. Nov. 2006

Three girls in student uniform are conducting physics tabletop experiment

Girls conducting tabletop physics experiment in Pyongyang school. Nov. 2006

Three uniformed students at a desk busy with a physics tabletop installation.

Next desk, another tabletop experimental setup. Nov. 2006

Three girls in festive white tops and blue skirts performing on a Korea folk string instrument

Girls performing on Kayagŭm, Korean traditional zither, at the Mangyongdae Students’ and Children’s Palace. Aug. 2005

A woman in concert dress playing the concert piano forte

Ms. Jong Kyong Hui, young pianist playing Chopin at the dinner meeting celebrating 92nd anniversary of Polish independence. Nov. 2010

Young Korean woman in formal attire with a vast agricultural field behind her

Cooperative farm administrator with the neatly planted fields behind her back. Nov. 2006

River moving fast on a rainy day with people by the riverside. A man in the foreground

Yongbyon townspeople repairing the road and bridge over Kuryong River damaged by torrential floods that summer. Aug. 2007

Loaded tractor and a truck making a turn on the road

More tractors and trucks were seen in agricultural areas in 2009. Feb. 2009

People working at small tables with sewing machines

At Songyu textile factory. Nov. 2010

Three public phone booths with people using them on a street corner

Public phone booths still in demand in Pyongyang in Feb. 2009.

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