How to get to North Korea and if you can legally
Continuing writing about my North Korea trip…
Mention you went to North Korea and you’ll hear two questions more than any others: How do you get there and is it legal?
With proper paperwork Americans can legally tour North Korea, according to the State Department, but it warns you you’re taking serious risks, you just have no legal recourse from the U.S. government because the two countries have no diplomatic relations.
How to get there, on the other hand, can be easy. I hear doing all the paperwork yourself is impossibly complex. On the other hand, letting Koryo Tours handle the paperwork, as we did, makes everything easy. All you have to do is show up in Beijing with a double entry visa to China, pay for their services, and you’re set. They’ve been taking people there for twenty years, although Americans only recently.
Seriously, they make it simple. Their fee covers all necessities — the flight from Beijing to Pyongyang, all hotel costs, and all food costs. We opted to buy Mass Games tickets and ate one meal at a special restaurant. Otherwise, you don’t have to bring any cash, though you’ll want to for souvenirs and to tip your guides.
I recommend Koryo. I also highly recommend visiting North Korea, which I’ll get to in this blog.
Tomorrow: what the tour is like
EDIT: I included much of this post (edited and polished) in my ebook, Understanding North Korea: Demystifying the Worldâ€™s Most Misunderstood Country. I wrote the book to help increase understanding, communication, and freedom.
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