North Korea is known for being shrouded in secrecy but one photographer has garnered a lifetime ban from the mysterious country for peeling back its mask.
Since 2008, photographer Eric Lafforgue has visited the country six times taking pictures to capture the truth of the mysterious land.
He managed to capture stunning shots that exposes the part of North Korea they don’t want us to see such as poor working conditions, soldiers not working and unfinished construction.
Eric told Bored Panda: “They didn’t allow me to take pictures of the police, the army, etc. But with a 300mm zoom lens and a seat in the back of the bus I could take so many…
“Thanks to digital memory cards, I was able to save photos that I was forbidden to take or was told to delete by the minders.”
In 2012, the North Korean government discovered Eric’s secretive photography online and requested he take down the images.
He told Bored Panda: “I refused [to take down the images] as I show all the aspects of North Korea: the good and the bad. Just like I do with any country I visit. I refused to make an exception for North Korea and they didn’t like this.
“During homestay meals in the countryside, I could speak with the locals for hours, thanks to my guides. They told me so much about how they live, what they dream of, and so on. The main thing to know is that North Koreans are warm people, very curious about the visitors and very generous, even though most of them own nearly nothing.”
Check out the eye-opening images below.