“Colorful” is a word I never thought I would use to describe North Korea.

Probably many of us, if asked to suddenly envision North Korea, picture a burnt-out hellscape not unlike Bartertown from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. In fact, I had a compelling theory that Kim Jong-nam was assassinated because of the stranglehold he put on the region with his vast underground methane-producing pig sty.

So imagine my surprise upon viewing the recently posted the video World’s First Aerial 360 Video Over North Korea 2017 on YouTube. The video takes us on a riverside flight of Pyongyang and all of the lush green spaces and colorful skyscrapers you probably wouldn’t expect to find there.

This 12-minute video is shot in 360 degrees, meaning you can pan around freely as the plane flies along.

The video was taken by Singaporean photographer Aram Pan with four DSLR cameras, and an Entaniya fisheye lens aboard an open-air microlight aircraft. Pan had been a frequent visitor to the normally secretive state and managed to get permission to survey the land with the help of its tourism bureaus.

Pan said that aside from military officers, facilities, and operations, he gets pretty much free reign over what to shoot. A North Korean official did take about 10 percent of the footage taken on this flight for security reasons though.

Pan also said that the secret to his access was simply being a nice guy. Rather than treating the people there as the scary monsters their leaders are often portrayed as, he talked with them as he would with any normal person who loves their home and would want to show it off.

Granted this is just a look at the capital city of a country that reportedly has a severe wealth gap, so the chances of dystopias lying elsewhere are not small.

However, the experience of Pan and the beautiful images he presents, may give hope that someday things will settle down to the point that North Korean people can enjoy a chance at some prosperity along with the rest of the world.

Source: NK News, YouTube/nknewsorg
Top image: YouTube/nknewsorg

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