North Korea Photos: Living and Working in the Urban Centers

These North Korea photos were taken around April, 2013. Those in urban city centers enjoy a higher standard of living than others. Most go home to large residential developments and condominiums; often with limited water and electricity, with several family members to each room. North Koreans often work six days per week. The meandering tourism industry (primarily from China) represents many urban jobs in hospitality, as well as a constant need for civic short-term employment, such as construction and infrastructure. Markets exist in unvisited sectors of Pyongyang; where tourists have never been allowed to go. During a stay in a city like Pyongyang; you are required to be accompanied by a government approved guide at all hours, except when you are in your hotel. – Cyrus

Girls working at one of Pyongyang's only coffee shops.

Girls working at one of Pyongyang’s only coffee shops.

Preparing coffee for tourists.

Preparing coffee for tourists.

A cyclist commuter in Pyongyang

A cyclist commuter in Pyongyang

Community-based construction projects. In North Korea, any citizen may end up taking on civic jobs at any time.

Community-based construction projects. In North Korea, any citizen may end up taking on civic jobs at any time.

A Pyongyang traffic cop in stilettos. Despite reports, some streets are quite busy, while others like this one remain desolate.

A Pyongyang traffic cop in stilettos. Despite reports, some streets are quite busy, while others like this one remain desolate.

Weaver girls. Highly talented silk weave experts are often flashed before tourists because of their remarkable abilities.

Weaver girls. Highly talented silk weave experts are often flashed before tourists because of their remarkable abilities.

A weaver working

A weaver working

Another weaver

Another weaver

An example of their finished embroidery art.

An example of their finished embroidery art.

Pyongyang bowling alley. This place stays busy every day and is one of the most popular places for locals to unwind after a day of work.

Pyongyang bowling alley. This place stays busy every day and is one of the most popular places for locals to unwind after a day of work.

A local bowls

A local bowls

Bowling

Bowling

North Korean waitresses excited to receive digital polaroids.

North Korean waitresses excited to receive digital polaroids.

the Pyongyang subway center

the Pyongyang subway center

More North Koreans performing civic work.

More North Koreans performing civic work.

Stalinist era cars and motorbikes populate the streets of the dictatorship

Stalinist era cars and motorbikes populate the streets of the dictatorship

Entrance into the southern city of Kaesong

Entrance into the southern city of Kaesong

A wedding party in Kaesong

A wedding party in Kaesong

A little boy plays in the streets

A little boy plays in the streets

North Koreans go about their daily life near Kim il-Sung Square

North Koreans go about their daily life near Kim il-Sung Square

Cocktails at the Diplomat's Bar, where DPRK party officials and foreign emissaries (and the occasional tourist) discuss important matters.

Cocktails at the Diplomat’s Bar, where DPRK party officials and foreign emissaries (and the occasional tourist) discuss important matters.

A waitress works at the Pyongyang pizzeria. The only pizzeria in North Korea, Kim Jong-Il hired top chefs in Italy to help create a restaurant to cater to North Korean party officials and occasional groups of tourists. The pizza is really, really good.

A waitress works at the Pyongyang pizzeria. The only pizzeria in North Korea, Kim Jong-Il hired top chefs in Italy to help create a restaurant to cater to North Korean party officials and occasional groups of tourists. The pizza is really, really good.

Pyongyang at night. The city drifts to a stand-still after around 9:00 PM.

Pyongyang at night. The city drifts to a stand-still after around 9:00 PM.

Bonus: My friend Jordan gets into the spirit of communism by donning a Stalin outfit and eating a hotdog in a manly way.

Bonus: Our friend Jordan gets into the spirit of communism by donning a Stalin outfit and eating a hotdog.

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