Tourism between China and NoKor seems OK

Chinese tourists still visit Pyongyang from time to time across China’s border city of Dandong, even after authorities unofficially halted the tours just days from U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to China the previous month.


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40 Chinese tourists left from Dandong to Pyongyang on Friday and is a sign that local authorities have not been strongly enforcing the flow of tourists into the country.


A tour operator said that it was the largest group to come in from Dandong since the halts began and added that the tourists traveled into North Korea by train for four days.


The Dandong Tourism Bureau has been having difficulty in enforcing the halt because businesses find ways of circumventing the policies that local authorities introduce hence the difficulty.


One tourism source that was based in Dandong said that there was always a way around government policies and added that the central government will be very annoyed at Dandong for lifting the travel restriction.


The United Nations hasn’t banned tourism to the Hermit Kingdom and is one of the few remaining ways that North Korea makes money. A South Korean think tank estimates that tourism generates about $44 million in North Korea every year.


Head of the Beijing-based Koryo Tours, Simon Cockrell, said he saw 3 to 4 busloads of Chinese tourists in Pyongyang in mid-November and said he wasn’t sure how or where they entered or the visas they had. Koryo Tours organizes travel in and out of North Korea.


Cockerell further said that even if you had a North Korean visa, it doesn’t say where you can or can’t go so go wherever you want. You could go to Pyongyang and no one would care.


However, due to US President Donald Trump’s first official visit to China in early November, an exclusive report said that Dandong Tourism Bureau told their local operator to temporarily stop conducting tours to Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital.


North Korea has an anti-American mindset since the war ended in 1953 and all sides don’t want another war to start from a mere visit of the U.S. President.


Reference: China’s border city with North Korea eases tourism curbs: sources


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