23/12/2013 16:29 GMT | Updated 23/12/2013 16:45 GMT

North Korea: Inside The Communist State By TIME Instagram Photographer Of The Year (PICTURES)

A photojournalist has been named Instagram photographer of the year thanks to his unprecedented access to and intimate portraits of North Korea.

David Guttenfelder, who is the Associated Press's chief Asia photographer, received the accolade from TIME magazine last week.

The seven-time World Press Photo award-winner, whose work is not limited to the secretive communist state, describes himself on Instagram as “North Korea curious”.

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“Nobody knows anything about [North Korea] and what it looks like,” says Guttenfelder, speaking to TIME over Skype from a hotel in Pyongyang.

“I feel like there’s a big opportunity and a big responsibility.”

Though Guttenfelder’s work is monitored by ever-present minders, he has managed to produce some of the most intimate images of the rogue state ever seen.

Check out some of his work as syndicated for the AP here:

North Korea by David Guttenfelder