Photo Gallery: North Korea Through the Lens of the Regime

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On 30 Rock a few weeks ago, a hilarious subplot featured comedian Margaret Cho playing North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il on the nation’s government TV network. The segments parodied the idealized version of reality the North Korean regime attempts to instill in its citizens, exemplified by a weather report in which Cho declared the forecast to be “everything sunny all the time always.” This satire of the North Korean propaganda machine is closer to reality than we’d like to think. Welcome to Pyongyang , a 2007 photography book by Charlie Crane, documents North Korea as seen through the eyes of those who rule it. He agreed to enter the country without his cell phone and accompanied by guards at all times, and the resulting photographs are carefully posed portraits of an eerily fake world. Their falsity shines through the overly perfect finish, making them ominous and unnerving. These pictures, which we recently spotted at Behance, radiate an uneasy feeling, one of tranquility coupled with fear. We can’t look away. Page through a gallery of the images that fascinated us most after the jump, then click over to Behance to see more.

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang

Photo credit: Charlie Crane, from the series Welcome To Pyongyang