Eye-Opening Time-Lapse Video of North Korea Shows a Different Side to the Often Mysterious Country

If there was place in the world in dire need of a PR effort that would be North Korea. Officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the often reclusive and secretive state is a country in East Asia, situated in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and biggest metropolis is Pyongyang. If everything the western media puts out were to be believed, what we know of North Korea is that it an extremely controlled, isolated and curtailed country with absolutely nothing to offer but abject misery in the hands of their supreme leader, Kim Jong-un. Not if you view this time-lapse video!


What you see instead is a first world-looking metropolis that has progress and development stamped all over it. The place is teeming with activity (and normalcy), a distant revelation from what we are otherwise made to believe. Instead of seeing an overly controlled state so often depicted, what you see is order and discipline in the way routine daily life is conducted.

enter pyongyang

Vertical development and its attendant commerce is evident in the modern skylines, while recreational activity is certainly abundant in the beautiful metro skate parks as well as the lush city gardens. The video is called Enter Pyongyang shot and produced by two western filmmakers, city branding expert JT Singh and flow-motion videographer Rob Whitworth.

enter pyongyang time-lapse

Not surprisingly, the project was overseen by North Korea’s tourism authority known as the Koryo Group. What is surprising is that the state supervision of the video shoot and subsequent production was virtually without any limitations nor censorship, according to Singh and Whitworth.

enter pyongyang time-lapse video

“At no point did Koryo Tours or we have to pretend to be supporters of the DPRK Government or their philosophy in order to be granted permission to shoot this film. Amazingly, we were given complete editorial control in the making of this piece.”

enter pyongyang video still

In the spirit of fairness, give this time-lapse video (and North Korea) a few minutes of your time. Whatever it is, they must be doing something right, because it sure looks good.

rob whitworth
Behind the Scenes


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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.