Blogger Alexander Belenkiy, from Russia, has travelled to many countries in the last decade, taking photos of areas the nation’s leaders don’t want the public to see. His most recent visit took to him China where he took photos of North Korea from the border.
China’s border with North Korea spans 880 miles (1,420 kilometres) long. From west to east, the Yalu River, Paektu Mountain, and the Tumen River divide the two countries. Dandong, in the Liaoning Province of China, on the Yalu River delta, is the largest city on the border.
Overall, his journey took him along 300 miles of the border. On several occasions he put himself at risk of being captured, shot, or “detained” as a foreign agent. North Korea attempts to create the appearance of a prosperous country, with painted houses and model towns with wooden facades.
Kijong-dong, also known as Peace Village, is an example of such a fake town. Known for having the world’s largest flag pole, it’s located on the border with South Korea in the the North’s part of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). The official claim is that the village houses 200 families, has a childcare centre, nursery (kindergarten), educations for all levels, and a hospital. However, military observers from the South declared the village to be ‘fake’ with no inhabitants and mostly made of wooden facades.
Please click on the photos to view higher resolutions.