9 Striking Changes in North and South Korea After 70 Years of Separation

7 months ago

Let’s shed some light on the lives of people from North Korea in comparison to South Korea. The division of Korea has had a huge impact on life in both countries.

Pyongyang vs. Seoul

From the clouds, both capitals appear to be large megalopolises. The high-rise buildings in Pyongyang are almost the same as the apartment blocks in Seoul or Busan.

The common panorama

2 cities share a common panorama on the Han River, and the views from the opposite riverbanks are pretty much the same.

Residential areas

And these are the residential areas. It is interesting to know that people in North Korea do not pay housing and communal services bills: apartments are given to them for free after their marriage registration. A small apartment in South Korea, on the other hand, can cost up to $180,000.


As for fashion, there are many false myths about it in North Korea: for example, a woman can’t wear pants, or there’s only a certain number of approved haircuts. Fairly fashionable clothes can be bought in the international supermarkets (for the rich people) or from sellers in China. Of course, there is no comparison with South Korea, considered to be one of the most stylishly dressed countries in the world. 50 years of fashion development separate these countries.



The bright and energetic K-pop shocked defectors from the north. Actually, many defectors from North Korea take a 3-month course to adapt to modern life. If you want to know more about the process of merging into a new life, you can read the BBC’s investigation about it.


There is no famine in North Korea, but a shortage of fruits and vegetables is obvious, which is why apples and cabbages are very popular. The lack of protein-rich foods influences the average person’s height in comparison to South Koreans. To fill the protein gap, people started hunting frogs and turtles. Food carriages on the streets of big cities offer sausage sticks, ice cream, popcorn, and steamed meat buns. Seoul, on the other hand, can offer not only rich national cuisine but also many diverse European dishes.

Public transport

The story goes that Pyongyang has only 3 metro stations that are used only by foreigners. So not true! The metro system in North Korea was constructed several years before the one in Seoul, and all people are allowed to use it.

You can’t buy a car in North Korea. Only military and government officials are awarded cars. That’s why people usually use public transport or bicycles.


Don’t think that the North Koreans have no gadgets at all. North Korea has its own factory that produces TVs, laptops, and smartphones ("Arirang" runs on Android). They are manufactured in China and branded in North Korea. Although few people have enough money to buy these kinds of goods.

But the Munsu Water Park is known to everyone.


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Seems like you literally found the worst possible photos for South Korea


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