Universities in North Korea (top photo) and South Korea
North Korea and South Korea may be close geographically, but politically and culturally they are worlds apart. The communist, oppressive North Korea is marred by poverty, secrecy and stagnation. According to this BBC profile,
"Aid agencies have estimated that up to two million people have died since the mid-1990s because of acute food shortages caused by natural disasters and economic mismanagement. The country relies on foreign aid to feed millions of its people.
The totalitarian state also stands accused of systematic human rights abuses. Reports of torture, public executions, slave labour, and forced abortions and infanticides in prison camps have emerged. Amnesty International estimates that hundreds of thousands of people are held in detention facilities, in which it says that torture is rampant and execution commonplace."
In stark contrast, South Korea is a wealthy, thriving capitalist society. German photographer Dieter Leistner's photo series, a juxtaposition of images of the two countries, illustrates the striking disparities between them. Leistner's photos well represent the old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words."
See more photos from this collection in this article. Leistner's series, entitled "Korea--Korea," can be purchased in book form here.
Road leading outside Pyongyang, North Korean capital
Road leading outside Seoul, South Korea