Chandeliers, marble and propaganda: Inside North Korea’s metro system

(CNN)Buried 100 meters (328 feet) underground, the Pyongyang Metro is one of the deepest commuter systems in the world.

It’s also one of the world’s most mysterious.
    Only a few thousand tourists enter the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea each year. Visits are only granted through specific tour groups, itineraries are heavily planned by tour guides, and certain areas are strictly off limits, so everyday life in North Korea is often hidden from outsiders.
    But when 25-year-old photographer Elaine Li made her first trip to the North Korea’s capital in October, what struck her most was the sense of familiarity.

    What has the response been to your photography?
    It’s been very heavily mixed. Some people say these images are eye opening, and show a side to the country that they don’t usually get to see. Others ask why I would ever go to North Korea in the first place, then claim my images are propaganda and that I’m sponsored by North Korea.
    The preconceptions that people have were really reflected on the comments I’ve received. But I just wanted to document what was in front of me, and share what I experienced as honestly as possible.

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