I Can't Stop Staring at These Instagrams from North Korea

AP's chief photographer in Asia, David Guttenfelder, has been in North Korea for the past week. It's not his first time—it's his 20th, dating back to 2000—and it's not the first time he's been there with his phone, either. But it is the first time he's taking geotagged Instagram photos. He writes on his blog:

Fast forward to this week when North Korea's mobile phone service provider Koryolink announced that all foreigners visiting North Korea will be allowed to bring in their phones and connect to the internet on the DPRK's 3G network.

It's a powerful way to connect directly with the outside world from one of the most isolated countries on earth. The window on to North Korea has been opened a small crack.

Meanwhile for all North Koreans, who will not be allowed access to the same service, the window remains firmly shut.

Here's the first geotagged photo he took, of a tour guide:

I Can't Stop Staring at These Instagrams from North Korea

The AP just put together a package of Guttenfelder's "real" photos from the country, but I like the immediate, everyday quality of the Instagram photos he's been taking as he traverses the country. You can find his feed here.

I Can't Stop Staring at These Instagrams from North Korea
"North Korean commuters pass by propaganda posters in #Pyongyang." [Link]

I Can't Stop Staring at These Instagrams from North Korea
"A surreal mass synchronized swimming performance in #Pyongyang, North Korea tonight." [Link]

I Can't Stop Staring at These Instagrams from North Korea
"This little North Korean dude, and his school buddies, were playing with one of my cameras this morning at Mansu Hill in #Pyongyang." [Link]

I Can't Stop Staring at These Instagrams from North Korea
"Example haircuts on display at a barbershop in #Pyongyang." [Link]

I Can't Stop Staring at These Instagrams from North Korea
"Snow blankets Ryongsan-ri, a North Korean village south of Pyongyang." [Link]

I Can't Stop Staring at These Instagrams from North Korea
"The highway, heading south to #Pyongyang, North Korea. Four lanes wide and few cars to be found." [Link]

I Can't Stop Staring at These Instagrams from North Korea
"Karaoke room. North Korea." [Link]

[David Guttenfelder; top: "A pin over the heart of every North Korean citizen."]