A viral video depicting the eerie atmosphere of North Korea’s subway system has gone viral on social media.
The eerie subway: The footage, shared by traveler and digital creator Jesse Romberg on Jan. 10, depicts how the dim subway features haunting music and foreboding doors. The video also shows North Koreans merely standing or sitting while looking down, seemingly without a smartphone in sight.
“From Pyongyang, North Korea,” Romberg captions his post. “This will be the most eerie thing you will see today. There are times while exploring the streets of North Korea that it will feel like you have gone back in time. This is absolutely one of those moments. The music, the darkness, the guillotine of the door, and the overall vibe of this train was not something I had ever experienced before.”
“A horror film”: The video, which has since garnered over 21.6 million views, has been compared to scenes from horror movies. Social media users likened it to a scary movie set, speculating on the music’s message and questioning the authenticity of passengers.
“It feels like the set of a horror film somehow… like it’s not real 😳,” one viewer said.
“Feels very creepy to me,” another commented.
“North Korea is the world’s largest open-air prison,” one person wrote.
Complimenting simplicity: Besides the unsettling nature of the video, it sparked discussions about the mysterious and oppressive realities of life in North Korea. However, others also highlighted and complimented the North Koreans’ “simple ways of living.”
“No matter what anyone says, I love their simple ways of living,” one person said. “At least people aren’t glued to their phones all the time. Yes, you can see some but not everyone.
“Literally what is wrong with this video? It’s just people minding their business. I feel like this is just racist fear mongering against communist countries ‘look at these ppl who are acting like robots wow communism bad,’” another argued.
How did Romberg visit North Korea?: In a separate video, Romberg shared that he was able to visit the East Asian country through the tour agency Young Pioneers Tours. The departure point is in Dandong, China, and the total cost for a three-night/four-day tour per person is 475 euros ($511). The tour, organized by the North Korean government, involves visits to monuments, aerial views, museums, a water park and the Mass Games. According to Romberg, tourists are not allowed to venture off without guide supervision, and American citizens are not permitted to enter North Korea at all.