Kim Song Jong, nine, poses for a portrait following a dance performance at a Children's Day event in Pyongyang, North Korea.
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See Photos of Life Side-by-Side in North and South Korea
Photographer Ed Jones has rare, regular access to North Korea, but is based in South Korea—the perfect setup to document how life in both countries can be similar.
The two nations that make up the Korean peninsula are often the center of world news. Sandwiched between China and Japan, citizens of North and South Korea have endured a decades-long conflict between the two nations—fueled by governments that have had difficulty finding common ground.
But this wasn’t always the case. Before Japan seized control of the peninsula in the early 1900s and then lost it at the end of World War II, the region was ruled by the centuries-old Joseon dynasty, forging a collective culture under unified leadership.
That dynasty has left a lasting impact on both countries. Despite the political and societal differences—one nation ruled by a dictatorship and the other governed by a