Start Planning Your North Korea 2010 Trip Now, Or Else
November 17, 2009 at 1:29 PM
They won't take our advice, but they'll still take our money: Despite an absence of diplomatic relations between the countries, Americans can still travel to North Korea, so long as you go when they want you to go, and with whom.
Visiting North Korea is allowed only during the annual Mass Games involving thousands of North Koreans performing complicated choreography and moving into intricate patterns like a college marching band on steroids. The games are normally held August through October, during which Westerners can travel with a tour groupsince the government will assign you an escort to make sure you only see the North Korea they want you to see. Now is the time to start planning and booking those trips.
The L.A. Times suggests a few groups, and we've profiled Koryo Tours (founded by two Brits with a charitable bent) before. Even with these limitations, it's thrilling to think about visiting a place that has been all but closed off from the world for the past 50 years. Unfortunately, the correct answer to when you can see leader Kim Jong Il's waterslide is "never": The eccentric leader's complex is inaccessible even to his own countrymen, leaving bodyguards and doctors the only ones to have come over for a pool party that we know of.
· Planning your trip to North Korea [L.A. Times]
· Gulags, Nukes and a Water Slide: Citizen Spies Help Lift North Korea's Veil [WSJ]
· Help The Blind Read By Visiting North Korea [Jaunted]