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Published on : Friday, July 21, 2017
The tourism agency of North Korea has launched a website offering holiday options ranging from surfing to rice planting, in spite of strong U.S. warnings to avoid travel to a country where several trips have ended in jail.
Sixteen Americans have been detained in the past decade in North Korea, including 22-year-old student Otto Warmbier, who was given a long prison term for stealing a hotel propaganda banner. He was sent home in a state of coma in June but he died later.
The North Korean agency introduces package trips to various parts of the country, including Pyongyang, and offers various “theme tours” for travelers seeking something more unusual. There are beautiful beaches on the east coast, including the Majon Bathing Beach, where surfing is in vogue among tourists for its favorable conditions and clean water.
The website also has basic travel information like air and train routes and ways to get around Pyongyang using public transport like cabs and buses. However, it does not allow users to book tours directly and does not list the handful of foreign agencies that arrange trips to the isolated state. The site is available in Korean, English, Chinese, Russian and Japanese and can be found at tourismdprk.gov.kp. The U.S. State Department strongly warns Americans against traveling to North Korea, citing “serious risk of arrest and long-term detention. Canada, Australia and New Zealand have also given similar warnings.