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Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

Last updated on: April 16, 2012 09:43 IST

Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

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Its aggressive nuclear proliferation, shocking human rights abuse and iron-fisted, megalomaniac rulers make North Korea one of the most dangerous but reclusive nations in the world.

Its near-absolute international isolation, perpetuated by decades of rule by one Kim or the other, also makes it one of the most intriguing countries. Other than horror stories about devastating famines and nightmarish prisons, little is known about the country or its inhabitants.

We present some snapshots of the nation that -- with 2.5 crore people and the world's fourth largest army -- remains one of the world's best guarded secrets.

A guide speaks to a group of North Korean visitors at Mangyongdae, the birthplace of North Korea founder Kim Il-sung in Pyongyang.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

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Workers prepare the plot at Daedonggang Fruit Farm, with 125 hectares of apple trees, on the outskirts of Pyongyang.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

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Staff in the Kim Jong-suk Pyongyang Silk Mill take part in a self-study session in Pyongyang. The factory is named after the wife of North Korea founder Kim Il-sung.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

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Delegates to the Conference of the Workers' Party of Korea arrive at Pyongyang railway station.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

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A conductor displays flag signals to a passing-by train outside a station featuring a portrait of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung northwest of Pyongyang.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

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People rest inside a theatre featuring portraits of North Korean leader Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il at Kim Jong-suk Silk Mill in Pyongyang.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

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A resident waits to cross a street in Pyongyang.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

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A merry-go-round is seen at an amusement park in Pyongyang.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

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Residents walk to attend the inauguration of a mosaic portrait of the late leader Kim Jong-il at a square.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

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Schoolgirls leave a square after the inauguration of a mosaic portrait of the late leader Kim Jong-il.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

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Representatives stand in front of the mosaic portrait of founder of North Korea Kim Il-sung and the new portrait of the late leader Kim Jong-il during an inauguration ceremony.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Inside the secret kingdom of North Korea

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Villagers travel in a truck in a field northwest of Pyongyang.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Thousands of residents applaud at a square during the inauguration of a mosaic portrait of Kim Jong-il il.

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Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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