The totalitarian regime of North Korea doesn’t want the world to know about its people, nor it want its people to know about the world. For this, they maintain one of the harshest media censorship in the world, and features continuously at the bottom of World Press Freedom Index.

The censorship is so strong that even tourists are not allowed to carry pictures out of the country. But that didn’t stop travel photographer Michał Huniewic to sneak these pictures out of North Korea.

Even his guide told him that he took too many photos and he might get detained in the authorities find out. By his own admission smuggling the pictures out of the country was stressful, but he did it nevertheless.

Check out the pictures that Kim doesn’t want you to see and share your thoughts in comments below.

#1 The hotel officially has no floor 5, and you can only reach it by stairs

The door is almost always closed, but if you manage to get in, the place is full of propaganda posters, and people speculate it’s used for spying on the guests.

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#2 The difference between North Korea (left) and China (right) is staggering

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#3 And it becomes even more apparent at night

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#4 First photo I took in North Korea. Photography from this train is illegal

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#5 Arrival in Pyongyang. I believe this was staged, as there were no other trains that day, so those elegant looking travellers had no reason to be there

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#6 You have several of these to fill in on your way in

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#7 Socialist murals

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#8 Brutalist architecture of Pyongyang

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#9 People waiting to sell human waste to be used as fertiliser

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#10 Finally, people commuting to work

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#11 The city was clean and elegant, but then I saw this

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#12 Authority – military is present everywhere in Pyongyang

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#13 Dignity

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#14 Kim Il-Sung’s square. This is one of the places they want you to photograph

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#15 Some of the souvenirs you can buy

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#16 North Korean soldiers

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#17 I had 15 seconds to take this picture. This shop is for the locals only, and I was kicked out of it by my guide soon after taking this photo, but he didn’t see me taking it

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#18 Those allowed to live in Pyongyang are privileged, and wear a badge that is impossible to buy (you can get a fake one in China)

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#19 North Korean street photography

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#20 North Koreans can only travel within the country when they receive a permit

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#21 The city is clear of rubbish

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#22 “(The Korean Workers’) Party is never going to forget the comrades of Rakwon [city]”

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#23 There was hardly any traffic, but they took our passports away and forbid us to go anywhere on our own in case we participate in a car accident…

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#24 You are only allowed to photograph these statues if both bodies are featured in their entirety. There was an endless stream of North Koreans bringing flowers and bowing

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#25 Workers

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#26 Cityscape from the Yanggakdo hotel

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#27 We did not get to interact with the locals almost at all. Most waitresses seemed slightly terrified of us

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#28 Pyongyang – we were intercepted by our guides, who we could not leave during the entire stay, and who’d tell us when to sleep and when to wake up

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