AFP photojournalist Ed Jones has been visiting North Korea since 2012. Until very recently, the purpose of these trips had been to cover mass military parades and large-scale events, along with a sizeable foreign media presence. "However," he told IBTimes UK, "with the opening of an AFP office in Pyongyang in September, we have begun making more regular visits."

North Korea daily life
Commuters and students cast long shadows as they walk along a street in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP

In addition to covering tightly choreographed official events such as North Korea's first air show, Jones has been capturing daily life on the streets of Pyongyang. His photos are remarkable for just how unremarkable everything seems – commuters travelling to and from work, children playing football or visiting museums – but as has been well documented, they do not reflect the reality of life in poverty-stricken rural villages outside the showcase capital.

Pyongyang is easily the most developed city in North Korea and is relatively comfortable for the increasingly affluent segment of its populace. Smartphones, traffic jams, restaurants, taxis and gleaming new high rise apartments blocks – this could almost be any city in the world (were it not for all the propaganda billboards and portraits and statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-il).

Jones told IBTimes UK: "Covering North Korea presents a number of unique challenges. Access to places, events and people is often restricted. Photographing daily life is very much a priority. Even the most mundane events or outings can often yield worthwhile images that, taken together, provide some insight, even if the wider picture is often obscured or out of view completely."

North Korea daily life
Students of the Pyongyang International Football School take part in an under-14 training sessionEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A bride and groom pose for photos with a horse at the Mirim riding school on the outskirts of PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
People take photos of a bride and groom as they pose for photos at the Mirim riding school on the outskirts of PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
People ride horses at the Mirim riding school on the outskirts of PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Visitors wait to enter the Museum of Natural History in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Visitors look at a marine exhibit inside the Museum of Natural History in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Children pose for a photo in front of mock-ups of dinosaur skeletons inside the Museum of Natural History in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Visitors look up at mock-ups of dinosaur skeletons inside the Museum of Natural History in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Students take part in a painting workshop in a park in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Women practise a traditional see-saw game in a park in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Women play a traditional game in which a person on a swing attempts to make contact with a bell suspended from an elevated platform, in a park in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A photographer waits for tourists on a viewing platform of the Juche Tower in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
People row boats along the Taedong river in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Commuters wait for a bus during the morning rush hour in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Commuters travel on a bus during the evening rush hour in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Pedestrians climb the steps of an overpass in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Commuters walk up stairs at a Pyongyang metro stationEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A truck passes people sitting at a lay-by beside the Pyongyang-Wonsan highwayEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A man rides a bicycle and a child runs along a road next to the Pyongyang-Wonsan highway near KoksanEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Ed Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A fishing boat sails past the Wonsan skylineEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
An ostrich farmer stands by his birds on a farm on the outskirts of PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A woman stands between crates in a warehouse on an ostrich farm on the outskirts of PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A woman stands beside blocks of heating fuel being unloaded outside an apartment building in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
Pyongyang early in the morningEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A woman wearing a traditional Korean hanbok dress stands in the lobby of the Koryo hotel in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A student plays a computerised shooting game in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A volunteer sweeps around the statues of former North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il on Mansu hill in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
People queue at a snack stall in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A woman waits for a taxi on the showcase Mirae Scientists Street in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
People wait for a bus on Mirae Scientists Street in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A woman looks at her mobile phone on a street in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
A man smokes a cigarette in a bar in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP

Agence France-Presse has become one of only a handful of foreign media organisations to have a permanent presence in the one of the world's most isolated states. The Pyongyang bureau allows AFP to regularly send teams of foreign text, video and photo journalists into North Korea.