North Korea is famously secretive, confiscating tourists' mobile phones upon arrival in the country and going through their camera memory cards to check for unauthorised photos. Despite this, a photographer has managed to capture a series of photos showing the harsh realities of life in poverty-stricken rural villages in North Korea.

One of the sights that Kim Jong-un's government may not wish the world to see is a child begging for food at a railway station.

Inside North Korea photos
A little boy begs for food on the platform at Hamhung Railway StationGetty Images
Inside North Korea photos
Two women rest in an unpaved alley in TumanggangGetty Images
Inside North Korea photos
A girl sits at her window in TumangangGetty Images
Inside North Korea photos
A view of Tumangang, a small town located at the North Korean-Russian borderGetty Images
Inside North Korea photos
A train on its way to Pyongyang is delayed for a day and half in Tumangang, due to military transportationGetty Images
Inside North Korea photos
A girl carries a young boy as they head to school in the morning in TumangangGetty Images
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Children swim in a river along the train's routeGetty Images
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An elderly man wearing a Reebok T-shirt looks out from his gate in TumangangGetty Images
Inside North Korea photos
A little girl walks on the street in TumangangGetty Images
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North Koreans look surprised to see strangers in NampoGetty Images

The photos were taken during a train trip between Pyongyang and the Russian border. Customs officers are seen checking passengers' mobile devices and cameras, and soldiers keep a careful watch over the train as it travels from town to town.

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A customs officer checks a passenger's digital camera on the train from Moscow to Pyongyang, at Tumangang railway stationGetty Images
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A customs officer checks a passenger's mobile device on train Number 100 from Moscow to PyongyangGetty Images
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A customs officer checks a passenger's laptop at Tumangang railway stationGetty Images
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A conductor organises goods in a compartment on a train between Russia and North KoreaGetty Images
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Korean People's Army soldiers take a rest at Hamhung Railway Station in the north-east of the countryGetty Images
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Korean People's Army soldiers look out from the trainGetty Images
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A Korean People's Army officer watches the train from a window somewhere in North KoreaGetty Images
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A female North Korean soldier watches as the train passes a guard postGetty Images

The unnamed photographer captured farmers tending fields of wheat, while army soldiers appear to have been drafted to work on another farm.

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Pictures of men, women and children tending fields along North Korean railway linesGetty Images
Inside North Korea photos
Members of the military work in a field along the train's route between Russia and North KoreaGetty Images
Inside North Korea photos
A man transports vegetables on his bicycle in Nampo, 50km southwest of P'yŏngyangGetty Images

Meanwhile, in every village along the train's route, pictures of North Korea's founder Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il watch over the populace.

The photographer also visited glitzy shrines to the Dear Leader and imposing museums celebrating the country's glorious victory in the Korean War. These lavish marble palaces stand in stark contrast to the run-down apartments and unpaved roads seen in the rest of these photos.

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Children walk past Tumangang railway stationGetty Images
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Tumangang railway station by nightGetty Images
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A picture of North Korea's supreme leaders at a railway stationGetty Images
Inside North Korea photos
The tomb of Kim Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, at Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in PyongyangGetty Images
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The interior of Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in PyongyangGetty Images