April 23, 2021

Daily videos show candid North Korean street life during pandemic

Chinese observer shares detailed footage of Hyesan city in the DPRK border area on social media

Children sledding down icy alleys, young couples courting on quiet street corners, sellers hawking their goods on an unofficial market: A series of rare videos filmed with long lenses across the Chinese border offers a candid look at daily life in the North Korean city of Hyesan. The short films, which were published by a Chinese videographer on the social media platform ixigua.com, appear to be filmed almost daily and seem to show North Korean street life in Hyesan as late as Monday.

More than a year after North Korea shut its borders for tourists and others in an attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19, the growing collection of videos offers a window into how some citizens in the DPRK are coping with the pandemic and its effects on the economy.