Magazine

Apr 19, 2018

A road trip on the edge of North Korea

A road trip on the edge of North Korea

During a a week-long road trip on the China-North Korea border, Reuters photographer Damir Sagolj captures dirt-poor daily living to clandestine economic activity on the Korean side – included scenes not yet witnessed in foreign media.

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
1

North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they stand in the freezing Yalu River near the town of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. On a road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea, reporters found a group of North Koreans diving in the Yalu river who the Chinese locals said were searching for gold. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
2

A North Korean watchtower is photographed from the Chinese side of the Yalu River east of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
3

North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they stand in the freezing Yalu River near the town of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. On a road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea, reporters found a group of North Koreans diving in the Yalu river who the Chinese locals said were searching for gold. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
4

North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they stand next to the freezing Yalu River near the town of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. On a road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea, reporters found a group of North Koreans diving in the Yalu river who the Chinese locals said were searching for gold. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
5

North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they stand in the freezing Yalu River near the town of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. On a road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea, reporters found a group of North Koreans diving in the Yalu river who the Chinese locals said were searching for gold. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
6

North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they stand next to the freezing Yalu River near the town of Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. On a road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea, reporters found a group of North Koreans diving in the Yalu river who the Chinese locals said were searching for gold. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
7

A ferris wheel, photographed from the Chinese side of the border across the Yalu River from Dandong in Liaoning Province, China is seen near the town of Sinuiju in North Korea, November 19, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
8

A man walks alongside the Yalu River which runs between North Korea and China, in the town on Linjiang in Jilin province, China, November 21, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
9

A North Korean woman is photographed from the Chinese side of the Yalu River near the town of Changbai, China as she walks between houses in the North Korean town of Hyesan, November 23, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
10

A piece of clothing is used to make a gap in barbed wire near the closed bridge over the Yalu River on the Chinese side of the border with North Korea between towns of Ji'an and Linjiang, China, November 21, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
11

A North Korean border guard, photographed from the Chinese side of border north of Dandong in China, takes position at Hekou's Broken Bridge over the Yalu River, north of the towns of Sinuiju in North Korea, November 20, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
12

A couple prepare for a wedding photography session on a boat which takes tourists on sightseeing tours from the Chinese side of the Yalu River, close to the shores of North Korea, near Dandong, Liaoning province, China, November 20, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
13

People have their picture taken with North Korea in the background, in Tumen, China, November 25, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
14

A tourist uses binoculars to look across to North Korea from a tower built on the Chinese side of the border between Russia (L), China (C) and North Korea (R) near the town of Hunchun in China, November 24, 2017. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
15

Tourists travel on a boat taking them from the Chinese side of the Yalu River for sightseeing close to the shores of North Korea, near Dandong, Liaoning province, China, November 19, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
16

A man takes pictures of himself with North Korea and the remains of a bridge in the background, just north of Dandong in Liaoning province, China, November 19, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
17

Chinese men fish as a watchtower stands on the North Korean side of the Yalu River, just north of Dandong in Liaoning province, China, November 20, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
18

Chinese fishermen manoeuvre small boats close to the North Korean side of the Yalu River near Dandong, Liaoning province, China, November 20, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
19

North Koreans are photographed from the Chinese side of the border south of Changbai in China as they make their way through a small village south of Hyesan in North Korea, November 22, 2017. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
20

A sign reading, "Take the initiative to preserve order along the border," stands in a field at the border between China and North Korea just outside Dandong, Liaoning province, China, November 19, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
21

A North Korean man is photographed from the Chinese side of the border south of Changbai in China as he carries buckets of water from the frozen Yalu River, south of Hyesan in North Korea, November 22, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
22

North Korean women are photographed from the Chinese side of the border near the town of Changbai, China as they wash clothes in the frozen Yalu River near the North Korean town of Hyesan, November 23, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
23

A North Korean man is photographed from the Chinese side of the border near the town of Changbai, China as he rides a bicycle along the Yalu River in the North Korean town of Hyesan, November 23, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
24

North Korean girls are photographed from the Chinese side of the border as they collect water from the frozen Yalu River near Linjiang, China, November 22, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
25

Women participate in a group dance exercise close to the Yalu River which runs between China and North Korea, in the town of Linjiang in Jilin province, China, November 21, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
26

A North Korean border guard is photographed from the Chinese side of the border near the town of Changbai, China as he stands on the banks of the Yalu River, near the North Korean town of Hyesan, November 23, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
27

A large screen, which faces North Korea, broadcasts propaganda videos on an island on the Yalu River between North Korea and China, in the town of Linjiang in Jilin province, China, November 21, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
28

Women, photographed from the Chinese side of the border, are seen through binoculars fixed on a building on the Chinese side of the border for sightseers to look across to North Korea, as they cross the bridge from Namyang in North Korea towards the town of Tumen in China, November 24, 2017. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
29

A man looks through binoculars towards North Korea on the Broken Bridge over the Yalu River that connects the North Korean town of Sinuiju and Dandong in Liaoning Province, China, November 19, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
30

Women walk across a bridge from an island on the Yalu River, dividing North Korea and China, in the town of Linjiang in Jilin province, China. November 21, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
31

North Korean souvenirs are displayed for sale on the banks of the Yalu River in Dandong in Liaoning province, China, November 19, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
32

Policemen control a check point after preventing Reuters reporters from driving through, near the border of China and North Korea, just outside the village of Sanhe, China, November 25, 2017. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
33

Women, photographed from the Chinese side of the border, are seen from a viewing point used by tourists to look into North Korea, as they cross the bridge from Namyang in North Korea towards the town of Tumen in China, November 24, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea showed places where it is porous. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
34

North Korean fishermen are seen as a Chinese flag flutters from the Broken Bridge as the sun sets over the Yalu River between the North Korean town of Sinuiju and Dandong in Liaoning Province, China, November 19, 2017. In the Chinese city of Dandong, signs of neighbouring North Korea are pervasive. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
35

A North Korean soldier and locals are photographed from the Chinese side of the border north of Dandong, China as they stand on the banks of the Yalu River, north of Sinuiju, North Korea, November 19, 2017. A week-long road trip along China's side of its border with North Korea revealed stark contrasts between China's bright towns and North Korea's dark villages. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

A road trip on the edge of North Korea
36

A North Korean woman is photographed from the Chinese side of the border north of Dandong, China as she walks on the banks of the Yalu River just north of Sinuiju, North Korea, November 19, 2017. DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

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