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April 24, 2009

Peering into North Korea

News stories about North Korea have been quite frequent recently, with their test launch of a rocket over Japan, withdrawal from nuclear disarmament talks coupled with a threat to restart their nuclear program, reports that their nuclear attack capabilities may be larger than previously thought - and their recent arrest and indictment of two U.S. reporters on its border with China. Even with all this attention, photographs from North Korea are still restricted and hard to come by. One way around that has been for photographers to peer inside from across the border, a pastime that has also spurred a level of curious tourism in both neighboring South Korea and China. Collected here are a some recent photographs, looking into reclusive North Korea from the outside - and some of the reactions these observations induce. (previously: Recent scenes from North Korea) (37 photos total)

North Korean soldiers walk in an early morning mist with their rifles and spades along the North Korean-Chinese border near the Chinese city of Dandong on April 5, 2009. (REUTERS/ Nir Elias)

A man on a Yalu River touring boat uses binoculars for a closer glimpse of life in the North Korean border town of Sinuiju on April 5, 2009, across the river from Dandong in northeast China. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) #

North Korean border guards pause on the bank of the Yalu River at the border with China near the North Korean city of Hyesan on April 4, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

This picture taken on April 3, 2009 from a boat close to the Chinese town of Dandong, China, shows a North Korean farmer collecting water along the the banks of the Yalu River near the town of Qingzhouli, North Korea. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) #

A North Korean soldier plays a guitar on the banks of the Yalu River near the town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese city of Dandong on April 15, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Fishing vessels are docked on the banks of the Yalu River in the North Korean border town of Sinuiju on April 6, 2009. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) #

North Korean workers walk towards a factory in the city of Hyesan on April 4, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

People push carts in the North Korean city of Hyesan on April 4, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

Men ride their bicycles on the banks of Yalu River in the North Korean city of Hyesan on April 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

A woman views North Korea from China in a watchtower on Tiger Mountain Great Wall, the eastern starting point of the Great Wall that stretches across northern China and forms part of China's border with North Korea, overlooking the Yalu River. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) #

A North Korean soldier looks up as he patrols the border near the Chinese city of Dandong on April 4, 2009. (REUTERS/ Nir Elias) #

Smokestacks line a hazy riverfront as a North Korean border patrol speedboat anchors in the middle of the Yalu River and a Chinese tour boat passes by, offshore of the town of Siniuju on April 4, 2009. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) #

North Korean boys throw stones at a passing boat from the riverbank of the Yalu River northeast of Siniuju on April 3, 2009, across from Dandong, China. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) #

A North Korean soldier plays with his spade as he and his companions walk away from the North Korean-Chinese border near Dandong, China on April 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Nir Elias) #

A visitor walks on "Broken Bridge" in Dandong on March 23, 2009 which used to connect China and North Korea before it was bombed by the US during the Korean war and is now a tourist attraction on the Yalu River. (PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images) #

Dusk falls over the Yalu River on April 3, 2009, which seperates the North Korean town of Siniuju (opposite) from the Chinese city of Dandong, as lights are turned on along the Yalu River bridge, also known as the no-name bridge. The full-length bridge built right beside the no-name bridge remains busy during the day time as trucks, trains and other vehicles transport goods back and forth. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) #

North Korean men ride on a truck as they pass a military guardpost on the banks of the Yalu River near the town of Qingzhouli, North Korea. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) #

A North Korean officer gestures upon seeing his soldiers chatting with local Chinese over the North Korean-Chinese border near the city of Dandong on April 4, 2009. (REUTERS/ Nir Elias) #

Off duty soldiers play basketball on the bank of the Yalu River near the North Korean town of Sinuiju on April 15, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

North Korean women work in front of a building with a picture of late leader Kim Il-sung in the city of Hyesan on April 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

Workers smile as Chinese visitors wave to them from a passenger boat while soldiers, in the background, look on at the waterfront of the Yalu River at the North Korean town of Sinuiju on Sunday, March 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

A soldier looks on as she stands guard along the waterfront of the Yalu River at the North Korean side, opposite the Chinese border town of Hekou on Monday, March 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

North Korean border guards throw stones towards the photographer as they work on a field at the Yalu River near the city of Hyesan on April 6, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

Border guards walk over a railway bridge in the city of Hyesan on April 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

A woman carries water she collected from the Yalu River in the North Korean city of Hyesan on April 6, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

A woman collects water from the icy Yalu River in the city of Hyesan on April 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause (CHINA SOCIETY MILITARY POLITICS) #

A boy walks next to his geese near the North Korean town of Sinuiju on April 3, 2009. (REUTERS/ Nir Elias) #

A North Korean border guard reacts to the photographer as he walks along the banks of the Yalu River in Hyesan, North Korea on April 4, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

A man walks his ox cart along the banks of Yalu River in Hyesan on April 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

A woman pushes her wheelbarrow across a dry landscape on the banks of the Yalu River, 60 km northeast of Dandong, China on April 3, 2009. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) #

A woman cycles on a bridge along the waterfront of the Yalu River on the North Korean side, opposite the Chinese town of Hekou on Monday, March 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

False artillery emplacements, built with stones and branches, are seen along the waterfront of the Yalu River on the North Korean side, opposite the town of Hekou, China on Tuesday, March 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

North Korean children tussle along the North Korean banks of the Yalu river on Sunday, April 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) #

Words reading "If (our) party decides, we will do it!" are seen on a field near Hyesan, North Korea on April 6, 2009. North Korea had fired a long-range rocket over Japan the day before. (REUTERS/Reinhard Krause) #

A North Korean soldier points a gun at the photographer on the banks of the Yalu River near Sinuiju, across from Dandong, China on April 15, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

A North Korean soldier looks over his shoulder as he patrols the North Korean-Chinese border near Dandong on April 5, 2009. (REUTERS/ Nir Elias) #

A North Korean soldier stands watch from behind her guard post on the waterfront of the Yalu River on Tuesday, March 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

 
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