Since 2008, French photographer Eric Lafforgue has traveled to North Korea six times. Now, he is banned from ever entering the country again. During each visit, he was accompanied by guides and minders, as is custom for all visitors to the Hermit Kingdom. Some of the pictures Lafforgue took were forbidden by the guides for various reasons, but he was able to sneak them out on memory cards and publish them online.
This picture, for instance, is forbidden because it depicts members of the North Korean military.
All photos of the military are forbidden, but photos of the soldiers resting or relaxing are especially discouraged. Lafforgue writes on his website that this photo of a sleeping soldier definitely contributed to his ban from the country.
Here's yet another forbidden photo of North Korean soldiers relaxing in uniform. The North Korean government has a very specific image they wish to present to all audiences, and photographs like this one definitely don't make the cut.
If you ask members of North Korea's government about the military, they will say that the army is one of the most important in the world. However, if you actually travel to the country, you'll likely encounter soldiers like this one, doing menial farm labor.
While visiting North Korea, the tour guides love for photographers to take pictures of the citizens using computers. However, if the photos happen to show the lack of electricity (see the computer's blank screen in above photo), photographers are told to delete the photo.
Part of the public tour includes an aquarium show in Pyongyang. While photographers are permitted to take pictures of the animal performers, photos of the crowd ”” made up of mostly soldiers ”” are expressly forbidden.
The tub in this rural home is shown being used as a cistern. It's details like this one that the tour guides hate, as it reveals that the public image North Korea tries to present is nothing more than a façade.
Here is yet another depiction of the extreme poverty that plagues most of North Korea's citizens. Even after Lafforgue explains that poverty exists in all parts of the world, the guides forbid him from taking pictures like this one.