This incredible new video was released by a Lithuanian-born entrepreneur documenting his mysterious 7-day trip to North Korea.
The short documentary by Jacob Laukaitis has already been viewed on YouTube over 150,000 times in five days. You can watch the 14-minute video below or read on for some of our favorite parts of the videa.
In the video, Laukaitis explains that tourists can only enter North Korea through a pre-arranged tour that “lasts anywhere from one to ten days”. He says his passport was taken away from him and local guides monitored him for the whole trip. Laukaitis was taken to various locations around North Korea, always accompanied by officials and never allowed to communicate with the locals – and had to ask permission every time he wanted to take footage.
The entrepreneur says he wanted to avoid the politics of North Korea and simply make a documentary “to show people how your day to day life would look if you went there as a tourist”. One of the first places he was taken was the North Korean Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang where some of the tourists played soccer with children.
▼ North Korean kids playing soccer in front of the Pyongyang Arch of Triumph
Laukaitis also took footage of thousands of people practicing for a North Korean parade, and, on another day, Laukaitis participated in a North Korean marathon that was partly held in a stadium with thousands of spectators. Laukaitis injured his arm just prior to his trip to North Korea so he decided to walk the 10 kilmoeters, which he said was the best decision he made because he could take in all of the sights.
▼ Laukaitis enjoying his 10-kilometer marathon walk
He was also taken to see the Party Foundation Monument, which was constructed to commemorate 50 years of worker’s party rule, as well as the Juche Tower, the tallest stone tower in the world.
▼ The North Korean Party Foundation Monument
▼ The view from the Juche Tower
But perhaps one of the most interesting moments comes towards the end of the video when the tourist and his group visits a park full of local people, who were seen dancing and laughing, perhaps has part of the celebration for Kim Il-sung. Sadly, he point outs, even then they were never able to actually communicate with anyone besides their tour guides.
After the 7-day trip Laukaitis wrote, “You can never be sure whether things were staged or not in North Korea because you are only shown what they want you to see. You can’t choose where or when you will be going to specific places — they simply tell you to hop on a bus and ask you to get off at one point or another”.
Politics aside North Korea looks like an incredibly interesting place to visit. But would you be willing to take a pre-planned tour to North Korea?