April 17, 2024

North Korean Holiday


North Korean Holiday
Wŏnsan Beach, North Korea. (stephan), CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

North Korea is building a "tourist zone" on its eastern coast, a move to boost interest in tourism from Russia.

This area will have dozens of hotels and shops, all currently under construction, with the intention of opening in the next few years. Summer visitors will head to oceanside resorts, and, in the winter, Russian skiers can hit the slopes.

Of course, these vacations will not resemble the average Russian's trip to a domestic resort: These vacations in North Korea will still be highly controlled propaganda tours, albeit this time on Kim Jong Un's favorite beaches. 

The West has gotten glimpses of North Korean life on short tours starting in the Demilitarized Zone, the border with South Korea, but these tours, for intrepid, curious travelers, would not likely be described as "relaxing."

The new resorts, exclusively aimed toward Russians, aim to take advantage of the unusually close relationship between the Russian Federation and DPRK. "Test" tours began in February of this year, and hosted visitors primarily from far eastern regions of Russia, including Khabarovsk and Primorsky regions, the Sakhalin islands, Irkutsk, and Novosibirsk.

Even as visa travel to most of Western Europe continues to be a challenge for most Russians since the invasion of Ukraine, it remains to be seen whether North Korea will become a new vacation hotspot.  

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