Pyongyang, North Korea


Taking in the big show at the Children's Palace in Pyongyang; a dazzling spectacle of kids on parade below projected footage of Kim Jong Il looking at things. I've got to hand it to him, he is totally pulling off that red scarf.

I need a red scarf.

The most fascinating photo ops in North Korea tend to be the ones that are forbidden. And I'm sort of not really supposed to be blogging about my time there anyway, so let's just leave it at this.

Screen shot 2011-02-18 at 11.16.06 AM

I got my shot, at the risk of causing somewhat of a diplomatic incident. Got the footage out with no troubles. And I look forward to answering the "how did you get into North Korea?" question about a million times once the video is done.

The answer, by the way, is "with baffling ease." You go to a site called You type in "North Korea tour," and you click on the first thing that pops up. You fill out some forms, you pay some money, and you're in.

It's amazing all the things we assume we can't do.

9 Responses to Pyongyang, North Korea

  1. Hi Matt,

    very cool, that you have been to North Korea. And respect that you managed to get a dancing shoot together!

    For me North Korea was one if not the most impressive travel experience as you travelled completly into another world. Just like going back 50 years and visiting Eastern Europe…

    I wrote an extensive article about my time there:
    link to

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  3. Eric

    Hi! Matt…

    I was hoping your new updates.
    I’m South Korean.
    And I jeallous of you that you’ve been to North Korea. Well, I want to go North Korea too.
    I’ll wait until you come to South Korea!

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  5. Matt,
    I have to say Im amazed by this picture! I have looked at a good number of pictures from north korea on flickr and other sites and blogs, as theyre often so surreal and wierd. But this is the first one ive seen where north koreans are pictured as regular, happy people… Very beautiful!
    Keep doing what you do!
    Cheers from Germany,

  6. Not difficult to go to North Korea, although it’s always getting harder. I visited North Korea in 2008 when day trips were possible from Seoul.

    link to

    To the previous comment… My passport wasn’t stamped as North Korea issued the visa on a separate card that I had to wear around my neck while there and was collected upon exit.

    I’d like to know more how you were able to take video and get it out of the country. That was a big no-no on my visit.

    Anyway, I counted up and have been to 50 countries in common with you (as documented in your videos). I’m surprised you haven’t shot anything in Wales, Romania, Bulgaria, Nepal, Ukraine, Moldova and Malaysia.

  7. P.S. To the previous comment… When I returned to the U.S., I listed “North Korea” in my countries visited on my U.S. re-entry form and received no questions or issues.

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