While North Korea swears the United States is the enemy, the influence of the United States on North Korean culture, from clothing to food and beverages, is very difficult to ignore.
“North Korea vs. USA,” a five-year photo project captured by photojournalist Eric Lafforgue, depicts exactly how the United States’ pop culture has influenced North Koreans.
From McDonald’s-branded clothing to Hummer H2s driving down the street, a little bit of American culture seems to have infiltrated North Korea.
Even the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, was pictured as a teen wearing a Dennis Rodman Chicago Bulls basketball jersey.
Some favorites out in North Korea seem to be Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson, characters who are a little past their prime stateside.
A fake Coca Cola can be seen in North Korea called “cocoa crabonated drink,” and yes, we mean crabonated. That doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it as the classic American beverage.
The 47-year-old photojournalist began visiting North Korea in 2008.
“When you mention America the first reaction is to say that the US are the enemy,” said Eric.
“North Koreans learn from the time they are kids that the USA is the main problem in their life.
‘They are told Americans want to destroy them so most of them believe it. But when you start to speak with people, most just wish peace, not war.”
It’s sad when people have to suffer under an oppressive leader and don’t know any other way of life.