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.
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.
The unnamed photographer captured farmers tending fields of wheat, while army soldiers appear to have been drafted to work on another farm.
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.
This article was first published
on August 26, 2015