On last December, photographer Elijah Hurwitz traveled from the Yalu River to the border with China.
In addition to the occasional odd security cameras, he found the borders surprisingly loose, especially outside the big cities.
Dandong is a city in China and home to legitimate and illegal trade.
It is also a place for family members to meet, exchange goods and send money, especially when there is less border monitoring.
Centuries ago, it could be said to be part of the Korean dynasty.
At the end of the 14 th century, the Yalu River became the border between China and the DPRK.
So many Koreans (joseon-jok)
Lived there for generations and spoke the local language.
On my first day in Dandong, I took a taxi with two women who were transporting a box of hot wine and she said they were from Pyongyang.
I was skeptical, and then I took a picture of a Chinese resident in Dandong who was sure they did come from North Korea.
At the end of 2017, the United Nations imposed sanctions on Pyongyang to stop its weapons program, followed by Beijing.
Despite the freezing and severe winter between the two traditional allies, Hurwitz was able to document the daily lives of many people.
Even in the midst of tensions, he was able to capture the relative shared experiences of neighbors who are one of the world's most watched borders. (
View pictures on both sides of South Korea's heavily guarded DMZ. )
On the Chinese side, Hurwitz feels a heightened risk, especially in Changbai village, a small town in China.
An hour drive north of Dandong, across the Yalu River from the North Korean sea mountain.
This is probably the most stressful place I 've ever been.
They are notoriously wary of outsiders and foreign journalists who have been accused of spying and imprisoned in the past.
My driver is very paranoid here, there are security cameras everywhere, I get very suspicious expressions from the locals like [an]
"Outsiders," said a documentary photographer in Los Angeles.
This is the only place I feel the need to hide the camera when taking pictures near the border.
The police intercepted our vehicle at the checkpoint.
In fact, it was not until last month when Kim Jong Un visited Beijing for the second unexpected visit that relations between the two countries became increasingly tense.
The Yalu River is one of two rivers that form the border between North Korea and China.
The Yalu River is wider than the east and north, "explains Christian activist Tim Peters, whose work includes the evacuation of north-eastern defectors from Northeast China.
"In a way, especially in the winter, this is a no man's land, giving [a] chanceto those]
Who wants to escape [into China].
Peters and other activists and journalists have noted that China's security presence has grown over the past 18 months.
The river, especially in the past year, passed through
Residents are becoming more and more difficult. . .
He added that due to the militarisation of the Chinese side.
On the other side of the river, it can be seen that life in North Korea is still very different and stopped: there is no chance to get rid of poverty, despair and lack of basic necessities.
Just as Chinese tourists gaze at North Korea from the ship, the citizens of haisang are also used to seeing Chinese tourists cross the river.
Still, in border cities, the two cultures still coexist as they have for centuries.
As Hurwitz points out, the evidence is that there are many Korean restaurants.
More easily, he said, I was moved by the delicious traditional Korean food I have eaten in China, especially in Ji 'An, Jilin.
Elijah hurwitzsoo Youn is a freelance journalist based in New York and Los Angeles.
Sorolaviz is a documentary photographer based in Los Angeles.
Follow him on Instagram @ ElijahSol.