North Korea doesn't land high on most (non-Dennis Rodman) people's bucket lists. But it should. As far as countries go, the Hermit Kingdom is one of the most perplexing on Earth.
Lost in the shuffle of bad news, of course, is that North Korea is actually beautiful. A country roughly the size of Pennsylvania, with more residents than all of Australia, it offers a diverse landscape and plenty of curiosities.
Travel writer and photographer Bjørn Christian Tørrissen visited North Korea recently and documented his travels through a series of arresting images.
"One of the things you just have to do, whether you like it or not, is to bow to show your respect to their eternal leaders".
Tributes to former leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il loom over almost every aspect of life. The Arch of Triumph, pictured up top, celebrates the "triumph" of Kim Il-Sung, and towers 197 feet into the air, comprising 25,500 granite blocks.