HUFFINGTON POST
04/20/2017 10:54 am ET

Photo Series Shows The People Of North Korea You Rarely Get To See

Agence France-Presse's Ed Jones has been photographing North Korean citizens since 2016.
In a photo taken on April 13, 2017 Jong Kwang-Hyok (10) poses for a portrait on a football field at a school for orphans on t
ED JONES via Getty Images
In a photo taken on April 13, 2017 Jong Kwang-Hyok (10) poses for a portrait on a football field at a school for orphans on the outskirts of Pyongyang.

With huge displays in parades of military might, it’s easy to forget the individuals who live and work in the reclusive nation of North Korea. 

Agence France-Presse photojournalist Ed Jones has been taking portraits of North Korean citizens since being assigned to the agency’s bureau there in 2016. 

The photos show glimpses of the people who don’t usually get in front of the camera, though there is an approval process that Jones has to go through to get the images. 

“Access to people is an important facet of my photography. But it can be something of a challenge in North Korea,” Jones wrote in a blog post for AFP. “Approaching people on the street for interviews or taking candid photos outside of designated areas is generally frowned upon.” 

In this photo taken on Feb. 18, 2017, Pak Song Hyang, 30, stands between sewing machines at a facility described to AFP as th
ED JONES via Getty Images
In this photo taken on Feb. 18, 2017, Pak Song Hyang, 30, stands between sewing machines at a facility described to AFP as the "Pyongyang bag factory" in Pyongyang.

Requests to photograph citizens are usually approved. Two North Korean AFP staffers have to be with the photographer at all times. 

Jones is usually pressed for time in portrait sessions, but believes it doesn’t hinder the final result.

“But despite the speed with which these portraits were taken and the reticence of most of those who agreed to pose, there was still a moment of intimacy involved ― however brief ― that felt authentic and unguarded,” Jones wrote.

See more photos by Ed Jones below:

  • Marathon runner Pak Chol poses for a portrait after winning the Pyongyang Marathon, at Kim Il-Sung stadium in Pyongyang.
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Marathon runner Pak Chol poses for a portrait after winning the Pyongyang Marathon, at Kim Il-Sung stadium in Pyongyang.
  • Pak Han-Song, 11, poses for a portrait on a beginner's slope at the Masikryong, or Masik Pass, ski resort near Wonsan. AFP wa
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Pak Han-Song, 11, poses for a portrait on a beginner's slope at the Masikryong, or Masik Pass, ski resort near Wonsan. AFP was told that Pak was a member of a youth ski camp.
  • Students Jo Jong-Im, 19, (left) and Jo Kwang-Hyok 31, pose for a portrait following a mass dance event in central Pyongyang.
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Students Jo Jong-Im, 19, (left) and Jo Kwang-Hyok 31, pose for a portrait following a mass dance event in central Pyongyang.
  • Shooting instructor Kim Su-Ryon poses for a portrait at the Meari Shooting Range in Pyongyang. Kim is holding a Paektusan tar
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Shooting instructor Kim Su-Ryon poses for a portrait at the Meari Shooting Range in Pyongyang. Kim is holding a Paektusan target pistol, gifted by late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung. Visitors to the range can pay $10 to shoot 10 rounds.
  • Figure skaters Nam Yong-Myong (left) and Choe Min pose for a portrait in Pyongyang. The skaters were performing at the Paektu
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Figure skaters Nam Yong-Myong (left) and Choe Min pose for a portrait in Pyongyang. The skaters were performing at the Paektusan Prize international figure skating festival.
  • Student Jo Chong-A, 10, poses for a portrait in a subway station of the Pyongyang metro.
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Student Jo Chong-A, 10, poses for a portrait in a subway station of the Pyongyang metro.
  • Sailor Kim Il-Su poses for a photo on a boat used to host wedding photo shoots on the Taedong river in Pyongyang.
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Sailor Kim Il-Su poses for a photo on a boat used to host wedding photo shoots on the Taedong river in Pyongyang.
  • Hong Kum-Ju, 27, poses for a portrait at the food factory where she works, in the eastern port city of Wonsan.
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Hong Kum-Ju, 27, poses for a portrait at the food factory where she works, in the eastern port city of Wonsan.
  • Toddler Mun Ji-Song poses for a photo with his parents at the entrance to the Central Zoo in Pyongyang.
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Toddler Mun Ji-Song poses for a photo with his parents at the entrance to the Central Zoo in Pyongyang.
  • Kim Chol-Nam, 30, poses for a portrait at the ski hire desk where he works at the Masikryong, or Masik Pass, ski resort near
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Kim Chol-Nam, 30, poses for a portrait at the ski hire desk where he works at the Masikryong, or Masik Pass, ski resort near Wonsan.
  • Ri Yong-Hwa, 23, poses for a portrait in a classroom at the Kim Jong-Suk silk mill in Pyongyang. A regular fixture on the iti
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Ri Yong-Hwa, 23, poses for a portrait in a classroom at the Kim Jong-Suk silk mill in Pyongyang. A regular fixture on the itineraries of foreign journalists and tourists, the Kim Jong-Suk textile mill is named after the grandmother of current North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
  • Kim Su-Min, 11, poses for a portrait before offering flowers to the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Kim Su-Min, 11, poses for a portrait before offering flowers to the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il at Mansudae hill in Pyongyang.
  • Jong Kwang-Hyok, 10, poses for a portrait on a football field at a school for orphans on the outskirts of Pyongyang.
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Jong Kwang-Hyok, 10, poses for a portrait on a football field at a school for orphans on the outskirts of Pyongyang.
  • Chief Engineer Choe Yong-Jun poses for a portrait at the Wonsan Youth Power Station, a hydroelectric plant outside the easter
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Chief Engineer Choe Yong-Jun poses for a portrait at the Wonsan Youth Power Station, a hydroelectric plant outside the eastern port city of Wonsan.
  • Amateur volleyball player Kim Hyok poses for a portrait during a practice session, in Pyongyang.
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Amateur volleyball player Kim Hyok poses for a portrait during a practice session, in Pyongyang.
  • Student Cha So-Yon, 18, poses for a portrait in a subway station of the Pyongyang metro.
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Student Cha So-Yon, 18, poses for a portrait in a subway station of the Pyongyang metro.
  • Kim Hyun-U, 12, poses for a portrait as he takes part in a seasonal initiative referred to as a "do good things" campaign, in
    ED JONES via Getty Images
    Kim Hyun-U, 12, poses for a portrait as he takes part in a seasonal initiative referred to as a "do good things" campaign, in which residents are encouraged to sweep and tidy the city, in a park in Pyongyang.

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