Asia Pacific

Inside the hermit kingdom

By Mark Edward Harris /
It's been over 60 years since the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement, but recent events illustrate that North and South Korea are not any closer to a true or lasting peace. Still, there are those on both sides of the DMZ who are trying to bring about a detente. Their weapon of choice: tourism. Upon returning recently from North Korea, award-winning photographer and travel writer Mark Edward Harris filed these exclusive images. Pictured here, North Koreans bow to the newly unveiled statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang at the Mansudae Grand Monument.The Joint Security Area at Panmunjeom, with North Korean soldiers in the foreground and South Korean troops in the background.A hotel bar in Rajin.A bowling alley in Pyongyang.The North Korean State Circus performs in the Pyongyang Circus Building.A traffic officer in Pyongyang.The 105-story Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang.The Taesongsan Funfair in Pyongyang.A girl in Pyongyang.A performance at a kindergarten in Chongjin.A military parade for Kim Il Sung's birthday centennial in 2012.Portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il hang in the waiting room at the Tumangang train station.An English class at a Pyongsong high school.