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North Korea, from Pyongyang to Rason
2019

Several time a month, a train go through North Korea from Pyongyang, the capital, to China and Russia border, in the coastal city of Rason. Davide Monteleone took this train to photograph the everyday life of inhabitants and the little-known landscapes.

Travel from Pyongyang to Rason is an opportunity to discover a more authentic facet of the country. Behind train window, landscapes go by : verdurous valleys and hills, undamaged forests, harvested fields, immaculate coastlines, akin their wild state. Few modern buildings punctuate this view. The inhabitants work the land or ride their bike. As for the train, it remains rudimentary, although it is kept in good condition to meet the needs of tourists. Made on soviet model from the 60s, he has not changed since then. On the whole, few clues show that we are in 2018.

Tourism is still a specific and controlled activity. Travelers are supervised by authorities whose dictate steps to take all the trip long. Isolated in a wagon dedicated to foreigners , they do not have contact with North Korean. In Rason, passports are carefully scrutinized. Nonetheless, this special economic zone, intrinsically link to international by its contiguity with Russia and China, is an exception. Getting there gives travelers freedom of movement and the opportunity to become familiar with the population.

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