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Journey into North Korea

David Guttenfelder, AP's chief Asia photographer, was unprecedented access on his 2011 journey to Pyongyang and areas outside the nation's showcase capital.

Central Pyongyang, capital of North Korea, is seen at dusk on April 12, 2011. North Korea is struggling with financial sanctions and international ostracization over its nuclear program. David Guttenfelder / AP
A city tram carries passengers in Pyongyang on April 15. David Guttenfelder / AP
A girl plays the piano inside the Changgwang Elementary School in Pyongyang on March 9. David Guttenfelder / AP
Stuffed animals are on display at Changgwang Elementary School in Pyongyang on March 9. They're used in biology classes. David Guttenfelder / AP
Men read a newspaper on public display inside a subway station in Pyongyang on March 10. David Guttenfelder / AP
A North Korean traffic police officer stands along a street in central Pyongyang on April 13. David Guttenfelder / AP
Workers carry painted doors along a road in Mangyongdae on April 13. David Guttenfelder / AP
The scene on April 17 south of Pyongyang along the highway leading to the southern city of Kaesong, North Korea. David Guttenfelder / AP
People pay their respects at a monument to Kim Il Sung at Mansu Hill in Pyongyang on April 14 -- the eve of the late president's birthday. In North Korea, April 15 is known as "The Day of the Sun" in honor of the former guerrilla fighter who founded North Korea in 1948. David Guttenfelder / AP
A member of a marching band has her photo taken with a woman and a boy at an event marking the birthday of Kim Il Sung at a park in Pyongyang on April 15. David Guttenfelder / AP
Women perform a dance routine with badminton rackets at an April 15 event to mark the birthday of Kim Il Sung at a park in Pyongyang. David Guttenfelder / AP
Two female North Korean soldiers hold hands as they tour the birthplace of Kim Il Sung at Mangyongdae on April 13. David Guttenfelder / AP
A photo taken through a bus window shows a North Korean traffic police woman standing along a street in Pyongyang on April 15. David Guttenfelder / AP
Commuters walk through a subway station in Pyongyang on March 10. David Guttenfelder / AP
A statue known as the Monument to the Three Charters for National Reunification, which symbolizes the hope for eventual reunification of the two Koreas, arches over a highway at the edge of Pyongyang on April 18. David Guttenfelder / AP
Men walk along a street in Pyongyang as the sun sets April 14. David Guttenfelder / AP
A decorated sheet covers a bed inside the Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang on March 8. David Guttenfelder / AP
A photograph of Kim Il Sung hangs on a wall next to a light made from a grenade casing on March 9 inside an exhibit at the war museum in Pyongyang. The exhibit is made to look like underground bunkers used during the resistance against the Japanese occupation. David Guttenfelder / AP
People react on a ride at an amusement park in Pyongyang on April 16. David Guttenfelder / AP
A multi-lane highway is empty of vehicles on April 21 near Pyongyang. David Guttenfelder / AP
People walk and use bicycles to cross a railroad bridge over a riverbed north of Pyongyang on April 19. David Guttenfelder / AP
Concert-goers sit inside an auditorium as they wait for a classical music performance to begin in Pyongyang on March 10. David Guttenfelder / AP
A car drives along a street at night in central Pyongyang on April 12. David Guttenfelder / AP
Children look through a subway car window in Pyongyang on March 10. David Guttenfelder / AP
A woman sits at a small table selling snacks on the roadside near Nampho on April 21. David Guttenfelder / AP
Plates of food sit on a customer's table at a fast food restaurant inside an amusement park in Pyongyang on April 16. David Guttenfelder / AP
Men operate a manual rail car on tracks running along the sea near Nampho on April 21. David Guttenfelder / AP
Men ride bicycles at the end of a work day in Pyongyang on April 18. David Guttenfelder / AP
Flowers known in North Korea as "Kimilsungia" are displayed next to a small replica of the Kim Il Sung mausoleum at a flower exhibition in Pyongyang on April 13. David Guttenfelder / AP
A woman looks at monkeys behind a glass enclosure at the central zoo in Pyongyang on April 22. David Guttenfelder / AP
A European tourist photographs a North Korean woman working at the Pyongyang airport as a North Korean Air Koryo flight arrives from Beijing on April 12. David Guttenfelder / AP
A children's choir performs in Pyongyang on April 14. David Guttenfelder / AP
Hikers climb a trail along Mount Myohyang on April 20. David Guttenfelder / AP
Hikers rest at a small pagoda along a trail on Mount Myohyang on April 20. David Guttenfelder / AP
North Korean flight attendants on a video screen bow at the end of the security demonstration before takeoff on an Air Koryo flight from Beijing to Pyongyang on March 8. David Guttenfelder / AP
Rows of portable stereos sit on desks inside a music library room at the Grand People's Study House in Pyongyang on March 9. David Guttenfelder / AP
A professional photographer takes a souvenir picture for visitors to the birthplace of Kim Il Sung at Mangyongdae on April 13. David Guttenfelder / AP
Two North Korean soldiers walk along a road and past a small village near the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas outside of Kaesong, North Korea, on April 17. David Guttenfelder / AP
A guard is reflected in a window at the entrance to a hall where organizers held an exhibition of the flowers known in North Korea as "Kimjongilia" and "Kimilsungia" in Pyongyang on April 13. David Guttenfelder / AP
A shadow of the 560-foot-tall Juche Tower is cast over the Taedong River in Pyongyang on March 9. David Guttenfelder / AP
People stroll along the Taedong River in Pyongyang on April 13. David Guttenfelder / AP
A waitress is reflected in a mirror inside a hotel restaurant in Mount Myohyang on April 19. David Guttenfelder / AP
A bowl of traditional North Korean cold noodles, known as naengmyeon, sits on a restaurant table in Pyongyang on March 10. David Guttenfelder / AP
North Korean workers rebuild the roof of a structure at the Pohyon Temple at the foot of Mount Myohyang on April 19. David Guttenfelder / AP
On April 21, a girl carries a flower through a memorial cemetery in Pyongyang for men and women who died fighting against the Japanese occupation. David Guttenfelder / AP
An illustration of a building hangs in front of the construction project in progress in Pyongyang on April 13. David Guttenfelder / AP
Families have their photographs taken in front of the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang on April 15. The palace, which was the official residence of Kim Il Sung until his death in 1994, is now a mausoleum where his embalmed body lies in state. David Guttenfelder / AP
A video shows the liftoff of the North Korean Unha-2 rocket to launch the Kwangmyongsong-2 satellite into space on a screen inside a hall at the Three Revolution Exhibition in Pyongyang. North Korea called the launch, which took place on April 5, 2009, a successful bid to put a communications satellite into space. However, the U.S. and South Korea called it cover for a test of long-range missile technology and accused Pyongyang of violating U.N. resolutions prohibiting North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile technologies. David Guttenfelder / AP
A U.S. flag and weapons sit inside a glass display case at the war museum in Pyongyang on March 9. David Guttenfelder / AP
Two North Korean soldiers smoke cigarettes as a pedestrian passes in Pyongyang on April 22. David Guttenfelder / AP
A shadow is cast across a parking lot as a man walks by a row of imported cars in central Pyongyang on April 12. David Guttenfelder / AP
Students swim and play on a water slide at a pool facility at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang on April 13. David Guttenfelder / AP
A girl stands on floral-print carpet inside the Pyongyang Children's Palace in Pyongyang on April 14. The large facility is used for teaching performance arts, fine arts and sports as extracurricular classes. David Guttenfelder / AP