New East Digital Archive

North Korea claims to be “safer than London” in bid to lure Russian tourists

North Korea claims to be “safer than London” in bid to lure Russian tourists
Pyongyang, North Korea. Image: Jen Morgan under a CC licence

25 August 2017

North Korea is opening its first travel agency in Moscow, promising prospective Russian tourists an immersive cultural experience “safer than an evening walk in London”.

NKOREAN.RU, a Russian company licensed by the North Korean government, is offering organised tours for individual travellers or groups of up to ten people “to show [...] the multi-faceted life of this most closed of countries”, with the most extensive 15-day tour costing $1,997. For this sum, Russian visitors can expect to visit a Buddhist temple, a mineral water factory, a farm and many museums dedicated to supreme leader Kim Il-Sung, as well as learning about local cuisine and enjoying mountain walks.

Although the agency is keen to allay any fears regarding safety, it nevertheless highlights that visitors must be “checked” before their trip and will be accompanied by a guide who will oversee the “adequate behaviour of the tourist and guarantee his safety”. Tourists should be ready to put away their cameras too, as pictures of strategic and military facilities are banned, while any in-depth discussions with local residents “are not recommended”.

Will North Korea take off as the next big thing for Russian holidaymakers?

The New East has been known for its recent success in making inroads into the closed nation, with Slovenian band Laibach the first foreign group to perform in North Korea.

Source: Reuters