web Musings of The Global Traveller

Monday, June 22, 2009

How to get to | North Korea

This is part of a series of blog entries on how to get to countries and places. Here is a link to the index. I plan to eventually cover every country and some other places. If you have a request for a particular country or place please use the email me link at top right, or leave a comment.

North Korea
Source: Martyn Williams

There are essentially only two ways to visit North Korea. One is to take a tour of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) from Seoul, and the other is by organised tour from China.
DMZ tours may include either or both the western tunnel complexes and Panmunjeom in the Joint Security Area. On these tours it is possible to "cross the border" into North Korea to a very limited extent (eg inside buildings which straddle the border). There is a long list of rules to follow on these tours concerning clothing and items you can/cannot bring with you. The tour passes through many security checkpoints en route.
Independent travel to North Korea proper is not allowed. Visitors can take part in (highly controlled and supervised) organised tours, flying to Pyongyang from Beijing on either Air Koryo or Air China (Star Alliance) or taking the train from Beijing. There are no other airlines with scheduled service to North Korea, although there are occasional charter flights.
Most of the time Americans are not allowed to visit however some years an exception is made for the Mass Games.
The visa and entry requirements for North Korea can change rapidly - be sure to double check at the time of booking and again before departure.

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