Civilian drone footage shows signs of life in sleepy North Korean city

A civilian drone launched from Dandong, China, captures an image of people standing around in the North Korean border city of Sinuiju in this 2020 photo. Captured from Reddit

Rare photos and footage from inside North Korea taken by a civilian-operated drone launched from China gave a glimpse into the daily lives of people in the reclusive state.A civilian with Reddit username XiaoHao2 shared 12 photos and three video clips of the northwestern border city of Sinuiju. The border city is located in the northwestern region of North Korea and faces the Chinese city of Dandong across the Yalu River, also known as the Amnok River.The user titled the post, “Drone pics of North Korea, I was in China, my drone flew across the border,” adding that the photos and videos were captured using a Chinese-made DJI drone. The post was upvoted 14,100 times in three days.

The footage was recorded in 2020 during the pandemic lockdown, according to the account holder that posted the images. A handful of images show North Korean residents looking up at the drone. A few seem startled by the drone crossing into North Korean airspace. Other images showed mostly streets and buildings, including what appears to be a university and a main avenue near Sinuiju Chongnyon Station.Internet users shared their impressions of the images, with many saying the city looks like a “ghost town.”One commented, “Those are some dead streets. Not a lot of traffic there,” while another wrote “Guy singlehandedly invaded N. Korea.” Some expressed concern over the safety of the drone pilot.“I imagine the Chinese authorities wouldn’t be happy about someone flying a drone from their territory over NK,” one user wrote.Another said, “That is so so so cool, but not smart. The Chinese government has a tight relationship with North Korea, returns escapees, helps prosecute criminals. If you’re flying a DJI drone they have even more info on you, info that would allow them to track you down after the fact. So be careful.”However, the uploader confirmed that the drone wasn’t shot down or confiscated by authorities, saying “I am still alive 스포츠토토존 and free.”

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