Nightly News   |  April 13, 2013

Photographer chronicles life in North Korea

In spite of the angry rhetoric, life in North Korea goes on as normal - or at least what passes as normal in this isolated state. AP photographer David Guttenfelder has been chronicling life in North Korea for years. NBC’s Ian Williams reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> for weeks now, threatening words and images have come from north korea and their untested new leader, but now we have a chance to see a different view of north korea and its people, thanks to a photographer on his 20th visit to the country.

>> reporter: in spite of the rhetoric, life goes on as normal, instead of preparing for the nuclear war promised by the leader, pyongyang is taking a holiday. these striking images are the latest work of ap's chief photographer.

>> i think one of the most powerful things you can do is take pictures of every day people.

>> reporter: for him, there's a lot of power in a society caught in a time warp , from the school children, brooms in hand off to clean the central square to unguarded moments, glum looking, waiting to be inducted into the union. the war mongering images are background noise to the real challenges and drujry of every day life.

>> these little moments in life change people's attitudes and break down barriers.

>> reporter: it's easy to forget that before he started imperson ating a bat james bond villain, he was trying to portray himself as a glamorous leader. and while kim is threatening violence with more passion than his father, if you travel of course you see little obvious preparations for war.

>> reporter: it seems to be the same as the other 100 plus times that i experienced. there's no added tension.

>> reporter: nobody is heading to the bunker. the photos of every day life, offers a strange reassurance that war is not