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Look at these photos from inside North Korea

North Korea, formally the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is a notoriously closed dictatorship created after World War II and run by three generations of the same family.

For a fascinating look inside the tightly controlled nation (about the size of Virginia) I highly recommend "Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea," an exhaustively reported and elegantly written nonfiction work by journalist Barbara Demick. It was published in 2009.

MORE: Quick facts about North Korea

Why North Korea is threatening Guam

More recently, world traveler Nikolai Johnsen, who hails from Norway and has been living in South Korea, has worked to organize educational tours to North Korea, "in hopes that more people around the world will be able to see past politics and see also North Korea for its warm and welcoming people, rich culture and beautiful scenery."

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In an interview with the travel site, Johnsen named Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea as his favorite airport on the planet: "Newly renovated to give a great first impression, and the immigration is swift and easy." His favorite hotel is the Yanggakdo in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital city: "Got everything you want, and more, including a revolving restaurant on top, with a 360-degree view of Pyongyang city." And Pyongyang is his favorite city overall.

Here are some of his photos and video clips, embedded from his publicly accessible Instagram page:

About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for

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