An intrepid photographer braved North Korea's eerie capital for these powerful images

Access to Instagram in North Korea has reportedly been blocked since earlier this summer. But there’s nothing stopping visitors from uploading their photos to the photo-sharing platform after they leave the country.

That’s exactly what photographer Taylor Pemberton did, and photos from his trip are now visible on his Instagram account.

In his Instagram bio, Pemberton describes himself as a photographer on a backpacking trip. Right now, he’s in Vietnam.

He spent four days in North Korea on a tourist visa earlier this month, though, according to the Huffington Post. The Minnesotan was free to take photos, but was occasionally instructed not to, he wrote in photo captions.

Read on to see the incredible images.

Pemberton started the posts five days ago with this photo of passengers boarding a train.

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'I'm excited to share many of the severe contrasts that make up what I saw and felt in the DPRK, a world and society that raised more questions than it solved,' his caption read.

Next, he snapped a photo of this monument to the late Kim Il-Sung.

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Pemberton notes in this photo's caption that North Koreans proudly display pins commemorating the country's former leader and representations of him and his family can be found everywhere -- but most of them are 'artificially fabricated,' he noted.

Here's Pemberton's tourist visa.

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Gaining access to North Korea as a tourist is actually not hard, Pemberton wrote in this post's caption, as long as you have 'time and money.'

Pemberton went through a tourism company and his trip lasted four days. His hotel was 'isolated on an island,' he wrote. The tour guides kept tight control over the group.

'It's important to note that you are NOT able to roam free at any given time,' he wrote in this photo's caption. 'You follow a strict itinerary and you are on a tight schedule to see what North Korea allows.'

He saw that men and women wear basic, standardised clothes without consumer brands or logos.

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When asked about the Koreans' clothing options, 'I was told there are very few options to choose from, almost a 'rationing' of sorts,' he wrote in this post's caption. 'It was tough to get a clear answer, and I think (my) mere curiosity seemed confusing to begin with.'

Pemberton saw this 'mass dance' celebration while he visited.

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The people are celebrating Liberation Day, which Pemberton said was a highlight of his trip.

These statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il are 22 meters (72 feet) high.

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Citizens pay tribute by purchasing flowers and laying them at the base of the monument. Pemberton says this show of respect is 'mandatory.'

These men are taking a break from playing volleyball.

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They're in a place called -- what else? -- Kim Il-Sung Square.

The Pyongyang Metro looks more ornate than the New York City subway.

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'This was a fascinating place to visit,' Pemberton wrote in his caption, 'not only because (of) the opulent imagery, but because you had the opportunity to be in a contained space with the Pyongyang locals -- North Korea's ultra-privileged.'

Pemberton watched North Koreans read the news off of fliers in the metro stop.

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Each story's headlines and images appeared to be tributes to the DPRK and Kim Jung-Il, Pemberton wrote.

'North Korea has no internet, no television, no free information,' he wrote. 'This is the only public news I saw in Pyongyang.'

He also snapped a photo of the Pyongyang Times.

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Pemberton's followers expressed disbelief that there'd be an English-language newspaper in North Korea, but according to Wikipedia, this state-owned paper is published in both English and French.

Pemberton visited the Yanggakdo Hotel's rooftop restaurant.

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It 'felt so eccentric and retro,' he wrote.

Pemberton says he was told not to photograph military personnel but did it anyway.

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'When I took this photo I was moving in a fast bus and didn't even see the mass of soldiers at ease,' he wrote.

Here's Pyongyang Train Station.

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'This building is pretty spectacular, inside and out,' Pemberton wrote.

Pemberton seemed particularly struck by this photo of a group of guys fixing a car.

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'Typical scenes in North Korea happen just like everyhwere else in the world,' he wrote. 'People tease each other, they trip up stairs, they try to fix their hair in the reflection.'

This alleyway is located outside Pyongyang.

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Pemberton snapped the photo after leaving lunch.

Pemberton saw these school children wandering around.

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'They were hopping across rocks in the water and freely playing around, a nice sight,' he wrote.

With his photos, Pemberton 'hope(s) to reveal a fair picture that swings both ways.'

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'My perspective into North Korea,' he wrote, 'is only one small version of what exists.'

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