14 Chilling Photos Of The Difference Between North And South Korea

Last year, entrepreneurJacob Laukaitis visited North Korea on a 7-day stritctly guided tour. This year, he traveled toSouth Korea on a mission to compare life in the two countries.

What he encountered wasa stark real-life picture of the way the two nations live daily life onvastly different planes:A video summary of Laukaitis’s two trips shows people playing, hiking, laughing and picnicking in the South, interspersed with footage of synchronized marches and empty streets in the northern hermit kingdom.

The contrast was gut-wrenching, Laukaitis said.

“Why was the whole power in the North concentratedin one person’s hands... whereas in the South people had the power to elect their own leaders?” he asks in the video.“Why were the people in the North not allowed to freely interact and share their thoughts with me, while the people in the South could do whatever the heck they wanted? Seeing these differences firsthand broke my heart.”

Of course, these images are just one visitor’s perspective. But overall, they reflect a real and wide chasm between the two Koreas, saidJennifer Jung-Kim, a Korean history expert at UCLA. 

″[Some of the photo pairings] may have been selected to purposely show a stark contrast with South Korea,” she told HuffPost. “But yes, overall, the two countries are vastly different today, and the average life of a North Korean is vastly different from that of a South Korean.”

Free time in South Korea

Free time in North Korea

Youth in South Korea

Youth in North Korea

Parking lot in South Korea

Parking lot in North Korea

University students in South Korea

University students in North Korea

Train station in South Korea

Train stationin North Korea

Street in South Korea

Street in North Korea

Countryside in South Korea

Countryside in North Korea



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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.