A man dines on a traditional Korean meal, composed of small dishes and rice. Prior to the Japanese occupation, the peninsula was divided into administrative provinces that largely retained regional cuisines. Today, the food around Pyongyang consists of grains and meat dishes designed for enduring the country's notoriously harsh winters. Food shortages are common in the Hermit Kingdom due to mismanagement and a lack of arable land.
The city's population surpassed 200,000 under Japanese colonial rule as it began to industrialize and morph into a provincial capital. It was not until after the Korean War (1950-1953) that Pyongyang was built into the city we know today, with wide boulevards and imposing monuments.