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Travelling to North Korea
« on: May 15, 2019, 08:36:14 pm »
Anyone ever done it during their vacation time while teaching here? Just curious.

Re: Travelling to North Korea
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2019, 05:54:33 am »
 I haven't but I understand the general procedure is that you have to travel to North Korea from China. It takes time to get a visa, usually, and in order to be in China for more than a few days, you need a visa for China as well. I know that the UK has a North Korean consulate, and in Beijing, I met an English guy who did business in Pyongyang. Last year I saw a documentary about North Korea. The broadcaster and traveler Michael Palin was allowed unprecedented access to North Korea, but obviously, he had his two North Korean minders to watch over him. The presenter pointed out that even when there were unscripted moments with random North Koreans, a shadowy "visitor" would appear and tell the people around him what they ought to say. It was all stage-managed. There was a sense of "the Potempkin village."
   One thing that did astonish me was that usually tourists fly into North Korea, and most usually from Shenyang, because Shenyang Consulate takes care of it, I think.
   But this time Michael Palin was able to take the train from Beijing Station all the way to Pyongyang. That astonished me, because there are effectively two DMZ's although the one with China seems less heavily-policed. There is Beijing West Station and Beijing South Station as well. But I have been to and used the Beijing main Station without realising there was a railway to North  Korea.
After all, there is no regular rail connection between Gaesong and Seoul. Yes, there is/was a rail connection, but it is not regular.