North Korea is one of the most isolated and secretive countries on Earth.
The totalitarian state has roughly 25 million people and they have minimal interaction with the outside world. Likewise, the outside world often has little idea what is going on in the country.
Not only is foreign media forbidden, but interaction with tourists is also strictly controlled and the internet is inaccessible to almost everyone.
But in a rare occurrence, these images show what life is like inside the country — led by the Kim dynasty since 1948.
The hermit kingdom
According to the Huffington Post, Korea was first nicknamed the Hermit Kingdom in the 19th century by Western powers who were shunned by Korea as they advanced into Asia for trade and conquest.
It was also deeply rooted in self-isolation long before the peninsula was divided into two countries in 1948.
The isolation from the outside world dates back into the time when the Choson dynasty ruled from the 14th to early 20th century. Its people had no contact with foreigners and foreign travel was banned. After a series of invasions, the Choson rulers limited interaction with even neighbouring China and Japan.
Since its formation, the country has been led by a three-generation lineage of North Korean leadership — the Kim dynasty. Its first leader was Kim Il-sung followed by Kim Jong-il and grandson and current leader, Kim Jong-un.
Although major hostilities of the Korean War ceased with the signing of the Armistice in 1953, the two Koreas have remained technically at war ever since, and the demilitarised zone along the border continues to be the most fortified border in the world.
Despite ongoing international negotiations aimed at easing tensions on the peninsula, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea remains the most isolated and secretive nation on the planet.
Collapse of North Korea is looming
Earlier this year, Jamie Metzl, author of Genesis Code, who served in the US National Security Council and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, predicted North Korea will be gone in a decade.
"As a member of the US National Security Council staff in the later 1990s, I worked with colleagues on plans for responding to the potential collapse of the North Korean government," he said.
"As a self-induced famine ravaged the country, we considered what we might do when the regime finally succumbed to the inevitable consequence of its own insanity."
However, he said, almost 20 years later, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is still there and those predicting its imminent collapse have continually been proven wrong.
"But today, the North Korean madness may well be nearing its endgame. I predict it will be gone within a decade."
He said the continued survival of North Korea's government is based on its ability to harness absolute terror against its population, its possession of nuclear weapons, and its access to economic resources.
"Although North Korea requires all three of these to survive, contradictions between what it takes to secure each will make the regime's demise all but inevitable over time."