Tensions between North Korea and the US continue to rise, and the US State Department’s ban on travel to North Korea is being implemented this weekend. Still, there are signs that cultural changes are slowly starting to take root in the hermit kingdom.

There are only three billboards up in the capital city of Pyongyang, and there are no advertisements on television or in the newspapers. But supermarkets there are beginning to show signs of branding, and customer-driven sales like “buy-two-get-one-free” discounts are becoming more common.

The Associated Press recently photographed Potonggang, a state-run department store. Take a look, below.

All captions are by AP. 

The North Korean consumer landscape has evolved dramatically under Kim Jong Un.
Supermarket CashierWong Maye-E/AP
Under a five-year plan for the economy Kim Jong Un announced last May, North Korean factories are putting a new priority on making more and better daily-life products.
Supermarket Wong Maye-E/AP
At stores such as Potonggang, customers can pay with either cash or bank debit cards.

Women cashersWong Maye-E/AP
See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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