Trans DPRK

Trans DPRK

Twenty-two angles on six provinces of North Korea seen by road and rail.

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Shoulder Check

Shoulder Check: Rail traffic at a siding in rural North Hamgyong province. Electrification has been underway on North Korea’s railways since the 1950s, but chronic power shortages in the isolated nation can add hours to even a short journey.

Steel: A man peers out of a coal hopper on the rails north of Hamhung.

Steel: A man peers out of a coal hopper on the rails north of Hamhung.

Winter Rainbow: Pastel-hued apartments form a border along potato fields.

Winter Rainbow: Pastel-hued apartments form a border along potato fields in South Pyongan province.

Six Wheel Drive: Villagers ride through the North Korean countryside near the Russian border in North Hamyong province as a coal-fired haze rises from the village behind them.

Six Wheel Drive: Villagers ride through the North Korean countryside near the Russian border in North Hamyong province as a coal-fired haze rises from the village behind them.

Concrete Sentinels: An industrial chimneyscape looms over North Korea’s "City of Iron", the manufacturing centre of Chongjin.

Concrete Sentinels: An industrial chimneyscape looms over North Korea’s “City of Iron”, the manufacturing centre of Chongjin.

A Perilous Crossing

A Perilous Crossing: An ice crust forms over a meandering river in the mountains north of Hamhhung during a December cold snap.

The Arduous March: A man leads his ox along a track through a mountain pass in remote South Hamgyong province.

The Arduous March: A man leads his ox along a track through a mountain pass in remote South Hamgyong province.

Continental Drift

Continental Drift

Timber Wolves: Soldiers walk the length of a freight train in a snowstorm in rural South Hamgyong province.

Timber Wolves: Soldiers walk the length of a freight train in a snowstorm in rural South Hamgyong province.

Rail gang, North Hamyong province.

Rail gang, North Hamyong province.

Townsfolk wait to cross a train line in the remote hinterland near Myŏngch’ŏn in North Hamgyong Province.

Townsfolk wait to cross a train line in the remote hinterland near Myŏngch’ŏn in North Hamgyong Province.

Jangmadang: A black market springs up at dusk on the outskirts of a small town in South Hamgyong province. Though officially illegal, informal commerce has been increasingly tolerated since the famine of the 1990s.

Jangmadang: A black market springs up after dusk on the outskirts of a small town in South Hamgyong province. Though technically illegal, informal commerce has been increasingly tolerated by the North Korean government since the famine of the 1990s.

A winding road under the five points, North Hamgyong province.

A winding road under the five points, North Hamgyong province.

Three teenagers cycle past frozen rice paddies in rural North Hamgyong province.

Three teenagers cycle past frozen rice paddies in rural North Hamgyong province.

Platformscape, South Hamgyong province.

Platformscape, South Hamgyong province.

The Electric Ocean: Electrified fences wall off shoreline along vast tracts of North Hamgyong province near the border with Russia.

The Electric Ocean: Electrified fences wall off vast tracts of shoreline in North Hamgyong province near the border with Russia.

Cyclists cut through fields on their morning commute in North Hwanghae Province.

Cyclists cut through fields on their morning commute in North Hwanghae Province.

A soldier trails an ox cart against a hillside of apartments in North Hwanghae Province.

A soldier trails an ox cart against a hillside of apartments in North Hwanghae Province.

Thatched Skyline: Traditional Korean roofs frame a view of Kaesong, an industrial centre in North Hwanghae Province. Formerly part of South Korea after the peninsula was divided along the 38th parallel following World War II, the city changed hands to the North after the end of the Korean War in 1953.

Thatched Skyline: Traditional Korean roofs frame a view of Kaesong, an industrial centre in North Hwanghae Province. Formerly part of South Korea after the peninsula was divided along the 38th parallel following World War II, the city changed hands to the North after the end of the Korean War in 1953.

Kaesong, North Hwanghae Province.

Kaesong, North Hwanghae Province.

Intersection Patriotism: Cyclists ply the empty streets of Kaesong, a strategic light industrial centre near the border with South Korea.

Intersection Patriotism: Cyclists ply the empty streets of Kaesong, a strategic light industrial centre near the border with South Korea.

A coal-fired haze obscures the rising skyline of Rajin, a trading hub near the Russian border in the country’s northeast.

A coal-fired haze obscures the rising skyline of Rajin, a trading hub near the Russian border in the country’s northeast.

Author

Austin Andrews is a Vancouver-based photojournalist and occasional filmmaker with a penchant for finding the fantastic in the everyday. Contact him at austin [at] disposablewords [dot] net

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