News World A rare glimpse inside secretive North Korea

A rare glimpse inside secretive North Korea

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More than 600 foreign runners took to the streets of Pyongyang, North Korea for its annual marathon, which has been open to outsiders only two years.

Some of the runners have posted footage they filmed during the race, held Sunday, providing a surprising glimpse of cheering crowds waving bouquets of flowers, North Korean officials in uniform shaking hands with runners and spectators at the 50,000 seat Kim Il-Sung stadium doing a Mexican wave.


The secretive nation had in February lifted a ban on foreign travellers over Ebola virus fears. A further 800 runners from North Korea also participated in the three events, a full marathon, half marathon and a 10km fun run, the Telegraph reports.

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Great finish at the #Pyongyang #Marathon in #NorthKorea #ionlydid10k

A video posted by @nyimap on

A Wyoming cable TV installer, Charles Kobald, won the 10km race.

One contestant, New Zealander Duncan Erasmus told MailOnline he felt “constantly watched”.

“The North Koreans were very friendly during the run but outside of it there was a marked change,” he said.

“They were very cautious about interacting with us, whereas it felt like during the marathon they were allowed [to interact more freely].”

Instagram user Nyimap was able to bring footage out of North Korea and post it online.

Unbelievable experience #Pyongyang #Marathon, #NorthKorea #ionlydid10k

A photo posted by @nyimap on

Road traffic controllers on the corner of every street in #Pyongyang

A photo posted by @nyimap on

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