00:39 GMT +322 September 2019
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    A view of Pyongyang from one of the modern high-rise buildings in the city.

    Come One, Come All: North Korea Aims to Become Tourist Magnet

    © Sputnik / Maria Sidibe
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    Summer is here and you are thinking about your vacation destination – how about North Korea? The country wants to become a center of tourism in the Far East and it’s stepping up its game to attract more foreigners for a unique visit.

    According to the “South Korean Association for the Development of Foreign Trade” KOTRA, the government of the DPRK seeks to ensure that in 2017 the country is visited by a million people, and by 2020 to increase this number to 2 million. 

    In 2012 North Korea was visited only by 4,500 foreigners, and in 2014 the number was three times less.

    Despite the fact that North Korea is regularly included on the lists of the most dangerous countries for tourists, this country is an attraction to many for its uniqueness.

    According to Russian tourists who visited North Korea, despite the meticulous customs clearance and a lot of prohibitions, their impression of the country is inexpressible, as it is a true reserve of totalitarian socialism amidst magnificent nature.

    In an interview with Sputnik, Vasily Lebedev, the director of tour company “Otkritiye,” which takes tourists to the DPRK, said that due to geographical proximity, more and more people travel to North Korea from the Far East, especially to the special economic zone of Rason, where they do not need a visa. 

    Rason is a North Korean city and ice-free port in the Sea of Japan on the northeast tip of the country.

    “Tourists from Russia and China come there on weekends to spend time on the clean beaches of the Sea of Japan,” Lebedev said. 

    Looking at why some people travel to the DPRK, the director said that real adventurers do not travel for comfort but to see something genuine, unusual, something unique, and North Korea is definitely one of such countries.

    “It is a unique country; you will not see anything like it in other countries. In addition, simple North Koreans are benevolent and slightly naive. They do not even know that in the outside world their country is considered as an aggressor,” Lebedev said.

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