Daring Drone Mission Captures Rare Glimpse into North Korea

Reddit User Sparks Concern After Sharing Drone Footage from Closed-Off Nation

A Reddit user by the name of XiaoHao2 has recently shared the results of a risky drone mission that provided a rare look into the secretive nation of . The footage, believed to have been captured during the 2020 lockdown, has sparked concern among fellow Redditors about the videographer's safety.

Daring Drone Mission Captures Rare Glimpse Into North Korea

Crossing Borders: A Dangerous Drone Game

XiaoHao2 flew his drone across the -North Korea border while still in China, managing to capture images and video of the famously private country. The post, which has garnered over 138,000 upvotes in just 48 hours, features photographs of North Korean residents spotting the drone, as well as various buildings, including a government structure.

Given North Korea's strict rules and closed borders, especially during the 2020 lockdown, many Redditors expressed their worries about the drone operator's well-being. Comments ranged from “I wish you the best, hope you're safe” to “That seems like a dangerous game” and even “Are you alive?”

Drone Pilot Confirms Safety

In response to the outpouring of concern, XiaoHao2 assured fellow Redditors, stating, “I am still alive and free…” The confirmation has provided some relief to those who feared for the videographer's safety after the daring mission.

Daring Drone Mission Captures Rare Glimpse Into North Korea

Recent Drone Images Reveal More Signs of Life

While XiaoHao2's photographs depict notably empty streets in North Korea, recent images captured by photographer Pedro Pardo show more signs of life in the country. Pardo gained access to a remote part of the China-North Korea border in China's Jilin province, taking photographs between February 26 and March 1, 2023.

Human Rights Watch Report Highlights Repression

Shortly after Pardo's photographs were taken, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a damning report titled “A Sense of Terror, Stronger than a Bullet: The Closing of North Korea 2018–2023.” The report summarizes the repressive nature of the North Korean government under the rule of Kim Jong Un, highlighting the use of violence, fear, and human rights violations to maintain control over the population.

Daring Drone Mission Captures Rare Glimpse Into North Korea

Economic Decline Under Kim Jong Un's Rule

Since Kim Jong Un took power in 2011, North Korea's annual trade values in terms of exports have drastically decreased, according to HRW's report. The country's exports have fallen from nearly $4 billion a year to a mere $248 million in 2022, further emphasizing the nation's economic struggles and isolation.

XiaoHao2's drone mission has provided a rare and valuable glimpse into the secretive nation of North Korea, sparking both concern and curiosity among social media users. While the videographer's safety remains a topic of discussion, the images serve as a reminder of the country's strict control and the challenges faced by its citizens.

Photos courtesy of XiaoHao2 / Reddit.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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