A YouTube star from Cobham has denied he was paid by North Korean officials to show the secretive nation in a positive light.

Louis Cole travels around the world making daily video blogs and posts them on his channel FunforLouis, which has almost two million subscribers.

The dreadlocked 33-year-old spent 10 days in the secretive state earlier this month and posted videos of him surfing, playing with children and visiting a waterpark.

Some people criticised the videos, which all have more than 150,000 views, as being propaganda for the country where people are sentenced to decades of hard labour for watching South Korean television or listening to western music.

Under the video titled North Korean surfer chicks one commenter said: “Good job.

"You've done for surfing what Dennis Rodman has done for basketball. Ignorantly provided legitimacy and propaganda for a murderous inhumane regime.”

But in a statement on his channel Mr Cole said wanted to focus on the “positive things in the country and combat the purely negative image we see in the media.”

He said: “I’m all over the press with accusations that I am being paid by North Korean government as a tool for propaganda and, although that makes great headlines, there is no truth in that whatsoever.

“I’m not being paid by the North Korean government and I do not agree with the North Korean ideology but I do care for a lot of people there.

“I look for the beautiful positive things. I want to connect with local people and learn about the culture.

“I am not an investigative journalist and I do not do political commentary.”

Bona Shin, from New Malden's Korean Information Centre, said we should not be "fooled" by the videos. 

She said: "We should listen to people who escaped from North Korea who tell us about the horrors of the last Stalinist country. 

"We should not be gullible and fooled by the beautiful things dictators show off to a few western visitors. 

"People are fleeing from North Korea because it is hell on earth and nothing like what is shown in this video."