Chinese tourists can now visit North Korea without passports or visas
THE Dandong China International Travel Service has introduced a special program for Chinese tourists to visit North Korea for half-day tours without passports or visas.
However, the new rule only applies to travel from the border city of Dandong to the North Korean city of Sinuiju, within a “designated zone” of 30,000 square meters.
The program was launched to aid North Korea seek out more sources of foreign currency following a recent string of international sanctions.
The half-day tour – marked at 350 RMB or about US$52 – only requires tourists to bring along their ID cards, with which they can use to apply for an entry permit at Dandong.
Once inside the zone, visitors will be treated to traditional music or dance performances, peruse local speciality products, or explore the city of Sinuiju by bus.
Since the program’s launch on July 9, over a thousand Chinese tourists have signed on with the tour. The head of travel agency Xinhua said that they expect to drive in around 10,000 tourists a day during peak periods.
Overall, the number of tourists entering North Korea is still stable despite sanctions imposed by the United Nations.
South Korean media also reported that tourism in North Korea’s industry has dramatically reduced prices on transportation and accommodation for travel convoys from China, its largest tourist market.