Before Kim Jong-Il Died: Inside North Korea

Excusive Pictures, Video, and More From the "Dear Leader's" Dictatorship

With the news that dictator Kim Jong-II is dead at 69, "we are in oblivion on what's next" for North Korea, in the words of one National Geographic explorer. But change generally comes slowly in the world's most isolated country, where all public life can seem as staged as the synchronized stadium performances celebrating the birthday of Kim Jong-Il's father (picture).

To pull back the curtain on North Korea as it was in Kim Jong-Il's time, National Geographic is offering free streaming video of Inside North Korea, in which an undercover Lisa Ling exposes "unimaginable horrors" and "absolute conformity." And in China and South Korea, National Geographic magazine offers rare access to Kim Jong-Il's diaspora: escapees struggling to cope on the other side of the DMZ. Plus, facts, maps, and more.

Read This Next

Clothing from 1600s shipwreck shows how the 1 percent lived
A Q&A with Nikole Hannah-Jones on ‘The 1619 Project’

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet