As one of the first tourists allowed to travel on an overnight sleeper through a remote part of North Korea, Allie Dunnington reports on how things have changed since she last visited a decade ago.

I don’t agree with boycotting countries. They never harm the regime, but hurt the people. That’s why I’m here, on Kim Jong Un’s ‘Orient Express’ in North Korea.

In this country led by a man who’s been accused of committing all but one of the 11 crimes against humanity, a country whose image is that of an evil, ruthless and unforgiving regime, I want to see for myself what life in the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) might be like. And what better way than traveling on a sedately moving North Korean train?

This journey will take me and my fellow travelers from the scenic eastern coastline northwards to the industrial city of Chongjin near the Russian border. We’re the first tourists ever allowed to travel on an overnight sleeper and to this remote part of North Korea. Carefully guarded by our two young North Korean guides, Mr Pak and Ms Kim, we’re given our first instructions: “You must always speak respectfully of our Dear Leader, Kim Jong Un. You can take photos while the train is moving, but please not in the stations. You must never walk alone. We are responsible for your safety and have to look after you”.