Is a new age for travel in North Korea coming?
Tour operators and agents around the world are setting their eyes on a new, exotic destination – North Korea. In recent months, tourists are showing great interest in visiting the country. Is travel in North Korea possible, and if yes, is it safe?
Few companies conduct trips for tourists in North Korea. However, those firms are seeing a significant rise in bookings. Up until late 2017, the rogue state was in a tough diplomatic situation with the rest of the world, but in a flash of light, things are beginning to change.
Since the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, relationships have greatly improved. South Korean leader Moon Jae-in went as far as inviting the North’s ruler Kim Jong-un to the demilitarized zone, where both leaders shook hands and crossed the border together.
The cross was seen as a historic event by many. Both Kim and Moon visited the opposite side of the border even for a little while. In another symbolic act of peace, they planted a tree.
Whether those events were part of a bigger scam or a genuine try for peace, we cannot tell.
One thing is for sure. Travel in North Korea is still fairly dangerous. Over the years, a large number of people were lost or arrested for minor reasons. Health issues could also arise.
Diplomatic tensions are easing, and the renewed contact between the north and the south might lead to future cooperation in many fields. This includes tourism.
With the upcoming meeting between Kin Jong-un and Donald Trump, all media are preparing for what looks like history-making. Tourists are sure to gain interests and visit North Korea while the event is taking place.
Another huge event occurred on April 21, when the North announced it would stop conducting nuclear tests for good. That decision was met with a sigh of relief by the international community. Ever since the USA has canceled some sanctions.
Travel in North Korea
There is no other country in the world. The unique cultures, political situation, along with the ruthless dictatorship are things which attract the bravest of tourists. There are things in North Korea which you cannot see anywhere else.
Kim’s regime also has something to benefit as the new tourists will bring much-needed capital for one of the poorest countries.
As of mid-May, relationships are back to their usual nature – tense. North Korean officials made statements towards the USA and the south, threatening to cancel the famous Kim-Trump meeting. The reason behind the threats was simple. Since last year, the USA are doing extensive military drills and training not too far from the demilitarized zone.
The north sees this as a danger to its security. There is a chance for relations to go wrong again, and thus fewer people will want to organize trips to the rogue state.
With things as they are now, it might take awhile before mass tourist in North Korea becomes possible. We will have to wait for the summer
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