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Video Shows How Airlines Go Out of Their Way to Fly Around North Korea

August 13, 2014 at 12:59 PM | by | ()

We'll readily admit that don't have that much North Korea travel content. The section's not totally empty, since we take care of business. So you can find posts on travel safety near the country to how you can get inside to what the airplane food might look like along the way. But it's not exactly bursting with content.

There are a couple of reasons for that.

First, North Korea is - all things considered - not a very nice place. The people functionally live as slaves who are owned by the central government. The leaders are constantly threatening to destroy their neighbors and launch ballistic missiles at the United States, and they make a point of reminding people that they have nuclear weapons. The entire place is kind of a batshit crazy basketcase.

Second, and maybe more to the immediate point, pilots apparently avoid North Korean airspace like their lives depended on it. Which - given that the North Korean army is totally capable of waking up one morning and intentionally downing a civilian airliner - might be literally true. Still, it makes getting there a bit of a challenge.

The visualization we've embedded below shows just how much of a challenge.

As Business Insider points out, it's kind of breathtaking how South Korea is flooded with airplanes, and then just a few miles north there is empty space. We live in an interconnected world where travelers brag about going to inaccessible places, and where airfare is increasingly affordable, and yet just across the border from one of the world's most hypermodern cities there's just nothing.

A nice little travel-based demonstration of just how strange North Korea actually is.

[Photo: Martyn Williams / YouTube]

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