Winter in North Korea can be one of the most brutal time of the year, with sub-zero temperatures dropping as low as -20 degrees C, and a lack of heating, power, and clean water throughout the entire season.
Winter can be a fatal time for families if proper preparations are not made, especially for northern cities that share a border with China or Russia.
A 2014 interview by the Daily NK reveals that state authorities often fail to provide effective counter-measures or information on fighting cold weather, leaving it to the people to figure it out on their own.
This means local citizens go out of their way to find their own source of power and heating, whether it be firewood, coal, or solar panels smuggled from the border.
For many years, foreigners were not allowed to visit North Korea during these months.
But earlier this year, NK News obtained photos taken along the Sino-North Korea border in January and February, particularly near Uiju County, right next to the border city of Sinuiju where large-scale construction is taking place with high-rises, shops, and parks.
Scroll below to see what daily life can be like in the harsh winter months in northeastern North Korea, against a backdrop of a heightened state of border security on both sides of the river.
Some of the photos from this trip have been featured in this year’s “Daily Life in North Korea” calendar.
The 2019 calendar is available for purchase at the NK Shop for 29.99 USD. Get your own copy today ahead of the new year, and save 10% using code nknews10.