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The first Instagram videos out of North Korea


North Korean children perform in a primary school on April 2, 2011 in Pyongyang, North Korea. Pyongyang is the capital city of North Korea and the population is about 2,500,000.


Feng Li

Because North Korea remains shrouded in so much mystery, every little glimpse we get behind the curtain is thrilling. The mundane is illuminating, and the most uneventful scene appears packed with suspense.

These Instagram videos, the first out of North Korea, don't disappoint.

AP has had a bureau in Pyongyang since 2012, and photojournalist David Guttenfelder has been to visit several times. In December, he described his experience on a post for AP:

"My window on North Korea is sometimes, quite literally, a window — of a hotel room, the backseat of a car, a train. Fleeting moments of daily life present themselves suddenly, and they are opportunities to show a side of the country that is entirely at odds with the official portrait of marching troops and tightly coordinated pomp that the Pyongyang leadership presents to the world."

Here are his Instagram videos out of the hermit kingdom, starting with the very first one he took from Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang at night on July 20:

If you've ever been to the Yanggakdo hotel in Pyongyang, then you've seen this guy in his tank in the lobby:

Roadside propaganda next to a construction site in Pyongyang:

Here's what's on TV in Pyongyang on Thursday night:

A North Korean woman adds up the restaurant lunch receipts while military videos play on the TV behind the counter.

The open road. A North Korean national highway between Pyongyang and Kaesong.

Kimjongilia and Kimilsungia flowers on display at the Kimilsungia-Kimjongilia Exhibition Hall in Pyongyang:

North Korean school children have their class photo taken outside the mausoleum where the embalmed bodies of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il are lying in state:

North Korean school girls:

North Korea's late leaders welcome guests checking in at a Pyongyang hotel lobby: