Photos show the shocking differences between life in North and South Korea

North korea south korea comparisonCourtesy Jacob LaukaitisNorth Korea versus South Korea.

After Jacob Laukaitis visited North Korea, he wanted to see how the other half lives.

The entrepreneur and travel blogger made it to South Korea one year after that eye-opening trip to the “Hermit Kingdom.” He was shocked by how differently citizens of North and South Korea lead their lives.

“Why were the people in the North not allowed to freely interact and share their thoughts with me, while the people in the South could do whatever the heck they wanted?” he asks in a video he made comparing the two countries. “Seeing these differences firsthand broke my heart. Why has life become so different for the Korean people in just a few generations?”

The contrast was particularly poignant as Laukaitis visited North Korea at the same age and around the same time as as Otto Warmbier. Warmbier, an American college student who was arrested after being accused of allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel, died a week after North Korean authorities returned him to the US in a coma.

Here are photos from Laukaitis’ travels that show just how drastic the differences between North and South Korea are.

Jacob Laukaitis, an entrepreneur and travel blogger, has visited both North Korea and South Korea during his travels.

On a rooftop in South Korea.

He was shocked and heartbroken by the differences between the two countries.

Overlooking South Korea.

The rural fields of North Korea looked barren.

A roadside in North Korea.

In South Korea, the landscape was lush and in bloom.

A South Korean field.

North Korea's parking lots were empty.

A North Korean police office gestures in a parking lot.

The parking lot of a South Korean amusement park was full of tour buses and other visitors.

It was packed.

In North Korea, even travelling within the country is restricted for residents.

A subway station in North Korea.

South Korea's bullet trains speed from one end of the country to another.

Public transportation in South Korea.

In North Korea, students often performed for tour groups but couldn't interact with them.

Inside a North Korean university.

South Korean students were too busy studying and hanging out to notice tourists.

A university in South Korea.

During Laukaitis' visit, North Koreans assembled to observe the birthday of one of their leaders.

North Koreans in a town square.

South Koreans assembled with picnic blankets at a local park on a Friday night.

A weekend in South Korea.

Roads in North Korea were mostly empty.

A road in North Korea.

Seoul is one of the largest cities in the world.

Downtown Seoul.

The youth in North Korea didn't have a lot of freedom for self-expression.

North Koreans assembled in front of portraits of leaders.

In South Korea, teenagers are free to be themselves.

Young people South Korea pose for a photo.

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