PHOTOS: A rare glimpse of North Korea through the lens of Instagram

The Week

"I feel I can help open a window into a place that would otherwise rarely be seen by outsiders," says AP photographer David Guttenfelder

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, for the first time in history, has opened up the country's servers to visitors, allowing the outside world a rare glimpse of the Hermit Kingdom. Seizing the opportunity, this week Instagram is spotlighting the work of David Guttenfelder (@dguttenfelder), Associated Press Chief Photographer for Asia, who is currently on assignment in North Korea.

"I feel I can help open a window into a place that would otherwise rarely be seen by outsiders," said Guttenfelder. "As one of the few international photographers who has ever had regular access to the country, I feel a huge responsibility to share what I see and to show it as accurately as I can."

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The shots have a surreal quality to them. Filters aside, it feels like you're staring into a time capsule. Here, in no particular order, are a few of Guttenfelder's dream-like iPhone snaps:

1. A pin of former supreme leader Kim Jong Il sits over the heart of every North Korean citizen, says Guttenfelder

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(David Guttenfelder/The Associated Press)

2. Commuters pass by propaganda posters on their way to work

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(David Guttenfelder/The Associated Press)

3. A North Korean tour guide  

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(David Guttenfelder/The Associated Press)

4. A doctor stands by a set of video monitors inside a Pyongyang hospital

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(David Guttenfelder/The Associated Press)

5. Babies rest in a Pyongyang hospital

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(David Guttenfelder/The Associated Press)

6. Synchronized swimmers perform for a colorful audience in Pyongyang

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(David Guttenfelder/The Associated Press)

Check out more of Guttenfelder's incredible Instagram shots here.

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