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North Korea A-Z
North Korea is often called the most isolated country in the world today.
Formed after Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces, the Korean Peninsula was divided into a northern and southern region. Separate governments formed after attempts to unify the peninsula failed, which eventually led to a war.
An armistice led to a ceasefire of the conflict, but there has never been a peace treaty signed. That has caused North Korea to turn itself into a self-described “socialist and self-reliant” state.
Traveling to North Korea means working with a state-owned travel company. They decide what you can ultimately see or what you are not permitted to see. One guide, at minimum, is with you at all times when you leave your hotel. Visitors are usually kept to designated tourist areas and photographs are usually inspected by the guides.
Most permitted activities include visits to war memorials or to monuments that are dedicated to party leaders. Some museums are available to tour, though most are related to the Korean War. If permitted, the Demilitarized Zone with South Korea is sometimes allowed.
After the outdoor tours are completed, you may be invited by your guides to go bowling or to enjoy some karaoke at a local establishment. There is also one active amusement park in the country which can sometimes be visited.
Expect to pay for a trip to North Korea up-front, then have additional purchases for certain items which may be needed at the small shops in the designated areas. Your guide will order your food, tell you where to go, and suggest how to have fun. Although that may not seem like much of an adventure, arranging a trip to North Korea can be an interesting holiday if travel is permitted.
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Travel resources for North Korea.