Published on : Tuesday, February 14, 2017
It was substantiated by an Israeli tourism company on Sunday that it has an exclusive agreement for issuing tourist visas for North Korea. Rimon Tours, via its subsidiary Tarbutu, will provide trips staring from the spring and summer. According to Tarbutu program manager Haim Peres, “North Korea is without question one of the most fascinating countries in the world today. It is a closed country cut off from the world, including its neighbors. More is unknown than known about the country.”
Tarbutu projected that only 100 Israelis have visited North Korea on organized trips in the past. Until now, Israelis seeking visas would apply for entry through Chinese tour agencies. Under the new agreement, KISTC, a North Korean travel agency will issue visas for Israelis. There are four tours planned for April – May 2017 and the company has reassured that the travelers wouldn’t be impacted by the country’s military and nuclear research programs that have drawn sharp criticism in the West, especially from the United States.
Although Israel has no formal ties with North Korea, the Foreign Ministry said it was not discouraging Israelis from visiting the country. Only the visitors need to be careful that they do not violate any of the UN measures in particular regarding business and financial transactions with North Korean entities covered by the sanctions. Visitors can bring their cell phones and laptop computers with them, but the electronic devices can only be used on local networks that are restricted to websites within the country. International communication is only available at hotels and photography is prohibited in some areas, usually around military installations.
Dollars, Euros and Chinese Yuan can be used in North Korea, but tourists are not permitted to make purchases with the local currency, the Won. There are no ATMs or money conversion stalls, so tourists need to carry cash with them. The tour packages are in the $3,850-$4,150 range.
Tags: north korea