Apart from a whole website, blog and social media profiles filled with photos, this is another common question we tend to asked by tourists. Can you take photos in North Korea, and if so, what can and can’t you photograph? Again quite straight forwards, the answer is yes! A tourist can take photos when visiting the DPRK. However, to take photos in North Korea there are small guidelines and rules to watch out for! Here, we can explain to them you.
Regulations on Cameras
You might be able to take photos in North Korea, but there are some small rules concerning what kind of cameras you can take into the country. Without authorisation, big professional cameras similar equipment and “go-pros” are not permitted to be brought into the country. Failure to adhere to this rule could see them confiscated at the airport or train station until you leave the country. Smuggling them is of course a risk that is not recommended. Normal size lenses are your best bet and of course, phone cameras are fine too.
What you can/can’t take photos of!
Once in North Korea you are free to take photos of almost everything except military related matters. In all circumstances excluding the joint security area of the DMZ (where exceptions are given) you may not take photos of soldiers, military checkpoints or customs and entry procedures. Failure to adhere to this will cause issues. Outside of this, you are normally free to photograph everything without question.
Nonetheless, be mindful to the fact that sometimes these boundaries can shift according to circumstances. Whilst you can photograph everything in Pyongyang, for example, there may be certain regions of the country where these rules may change, such as in the North East. Ultimately, if you are ensure, always ask you guides as to what you are allowed to photograph
Conclusion: Relax and get a good collection
Photography in North Korea is not draconian, but simply requires common sense and careful consideration. Ultimately, you can bring a personal camera in or phone and will have a great deal of freedom in what you can photograph. It is normal in any country to restrict photography related to military matters, so this is not unreasonable concerning North Korea’s perspective. We truly hope you can have a great experience in the DPRK and build up a great album to look back on!