Despite all the bellicose rhetoric and posturing, North Korea is a failing state, just like all communist/socialist dictatorships, and its military also reflects the deplorable state of the hermit kingdom. The thing is, if it wasn’t for China propping up North Korea’s dictators for more than half a century, the rogue communist regime would have fallen a long time ago.
Now, we have a bunch of pictures smuggled out of North Korea by a tourist (who by the way risked his life doing this) showing the real face of North Korea’s army. You can see ancient wood-powered trucks and soldiers trying to fix them, tired GIs sleeping on the side of the road and other depressing things in photos taken on North Korea’s east coast, between the port city of Wonsan and Mount Kumang.
North Korea is incredibly strict when it comes to censoring what’s going on inside of its borders, i.e. tourists see their pictures/videos deleted often by their supervisors. However, in this case, the lucky tourist was able to smuggle out the pics, as he probably slipped through the camera-inspection protocol one way or another (he used a two memory card bays camera).
It’s interesting to see how Kim Jong Un’s army really looks like: poorly equipped, overstretched and exhausted, and then compare these real-life pictures with the crazy propaganda which comes from North Korea’s state-owned news agencies.
What’s very shocking is to see World War 2 era wood-powered trucks still in service in North Korea, which are using wood gas generators in order to mitigate the oil shortage due to economic sanctions. Another photo depicts a women-soldier on duty wearing high heels, whilst another shows at least fourteen soldiers squeezed inside a vehicle that seats only 6.
The unidentified photographer has said that the few North Korean troops he was able to spot appeared, let me quote, “unready for action”, even the ones deployed at the South Korean border:
‘We didn’t see many soldiers apart from what you see in my pictures. And no-one looked combat-ready.
At DMZ there were of course soldiers but those we saw were all ‘guides’ in one way or another.’