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Which Korea can you not go to?

Which Korea can you not go to?


In recent years, travel has become an increasingly popular pastime for many people. Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway or a long-term adventure, exploring new cultures and experiencing new things is an exciting prospect. However, there are certain places around the world that are off-limits to tourists for various reasons. One of these places is Korea, which is divided into two countries: North Korea and South Korea. So, which Korea can you not go to? In this article, we will explore the different factors that make North Korea a no-go zone for tourists.

The Political Situation

North Korea’s political situation is one of the main reasons why tourists cannot visit the country. The country is ruled by a dictatorship, and its government has been accused of numerous human rights violations over the years. Additionally, North Korea is known for its hostile stance towards other countries, particularly towards the United States and South Korea. As a result, many countries have imposed economic sanctions on North Korea, which make it difficult for tourists to enter the country.

The Travel Ban

In addition to political factors, there is also a travel ban in place that prevents tourists from visiting North Korea. This ban was put in place by the United States government in 2017 after the death of an American tourist who was detained in North Korea. The ban prohibits US citizens from traveling to North Korea without special permission from the government.

The Lack of Infrastructure

Even if the travel ban were lifted, it would still be difficult for tourists to visit North Korea due to the lack of infrastructure in the country. The transportation system is outdated and unreliable, and there are few hotels or restaurants that can accommodate tourists. Additionally, there is limited access to the internet and other forms of communication, making it difficult for tourists to stay in touch with their loved ones back home.

The Risk of Arrest

Another reason why tourists cannot visit North Korea is the risk of arrest. The country’s government has been known to detain tourists on trumped-up charges, and there have been instances where tourists have been sentenced to long prison terms for seemingly minor offenses. This risk is particularly high for journalists and human rights activists who may be seen as a threat to the government.

The Lack of Freedom

North Korea is known for its lack of freedom, particularly when it comes to the media. The government controls all forms of media, and there is no freedom of speech or press. Additionally, religion is heavily regulated, and tourists who bring religious materials into the country risk arrest and detention.

The Risk of Violence

North Korea has a history of violence towards foreigners. In 2017, an American tourist was detained and later died after allegedly being tortured by North Korean authorities. Additionally, there have been instances where North Korean soldiers have fired on South Korean tourists who ventured too close to the border between the two countries.

The Lack of Medical Care

In the event of an emergency, tourists in North Korea may not be able to access proper medical care. The country’s healthcare system is severely lacking, and there are few hospitals or clinics that can provide adequate care. Additionally, many medical facilities are reserved for government officials and their families.

The Lack of Personal Freedom

Personal freedom is severely restricted in North Korea. Tourists may be subject to strict rules and regulations, including curfews and restrictions on movement. Additionally, visitors are often accompanied by government minders who monitor their every move and limit their interactions with locals.

The Lack of Tourism Infrastructure

North Korea does not have a developed tourism industry, which makes it difficult for tourists to plan their trips. There are few travel agencies that specialize in North Korean tourism, and those that do exist are often unreliable. Additionally, there is little information available about the country’s tourist attractions, and many of them are difficult to access.

The Cost of Travel

Even if tourists were allowed to visit North Korea, the cost of travel would be prohibitively expensive for many people. The government charges exorbitant fees for visas and requires visitors to travel with a government-approved tour group. Additionally, the cost of accommodation and food is much higher than in other Asian countries.

The Environmental Risks

North Korea has a number of environmental risks that make it unsafe for tourists. The country has a high risk of earthquakes and floods, and there is a lack of infrastructure in place to deal with these disasters. Additionally, North Korea’s air and water quality are poor, which can lead to health problems for tourists.


In conclusion, North Korea is a no-go zone for tourists due to a range of factors including political instability, restrictions on personal freedom, lack of infrastructure, and environmental risks. While South Korea is a popular tourist destination with a thriving tourism industry, traveling to North Korea is simply not worth the risk.

Who are not allowed to go to North Korea?

Generally, anyone can go to North Korea as there are no specific restrictions. However, South Koreans and journalists are usually prohibited, although there have been occasional exceptions for journalists.

Which Korea are you not allowed to leave?

North Korean citizens are forbidden from leaving the country without official documents, and those who attempt to cross the border will be shot by guards. There are strict restrictions on travel for citizens of North Korea.

Can South Koreans enter North Korea?

Tourists cannot travel from South Korea to North Korea or vice versa due to the demarcation line that separates the two countries. Even the previously available option of visiting the Mt. Kumgang tourist zone in North Korea from South Korea has been discontinued since 2008.

Am I allowed to leave North Korea?

In North Korea, citizens must obtain an exit stamp and undergo a reentry interview upon returning to the country. This is due to the socialist ideology of investing in the education of its citizens, and the government wants to ensure that those who travel abroad do not defect.

Are Americans allowed in South Korea?

Beginning on September 1, 2021, Americans visiting Korea must possess either a valid visa or an authorized Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) in order to enter the country. This requirement will be in effect until at least March 20, 2023.

Can Americans go to North Korea?

It is strongly advised not to travel to North Korea as there is a high risk of U.S. nationals being arrested and detained for long periods of time. If travel is necessary, it is recommended to be extremely cautious due to the significant risk of being wrongfully detained. This warning was issued on October 5, 2022.

The Impact on the Local Population

The lack of tourism in North Korea has a significant impact on the local population. Without a thriving tourism industry, there are fewer opportunities for locals to interact with people from other countries and learn about different cultures. Additionally, the lack of income from tourism means that many people in North Korea struggle to make ends meet.

The Role of Diplomacy

While North Korea remains closed off to tourists, there are efforts underway to improve diplomatic relations between the country and the rest of the world. In recent years, there have been several high-profile meetings between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and other world leaders, including US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. These meetings have raised hopes that a resolution to the conflict between North and South Korea may be possible.

The Importance of Travel Safety

While travel to North Korea is not recommended, it is important to remember that safety is a concern no matter where you travel. Before embarking on any trip, it is important to research your destination thoroughly and be aware of any potential risks. Additionally, it is wise to purchase travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and other unexpected events.

The Future of North Korean Tourism

It is difficult to predict what the future holds for tourism in North Korea. While the current political situation makes it unlikely that tourists will be allowed into the country anytime soon, there is always the possibility that things could change in the future. If diplomatic relations between North Korea and other countries continue to improve, it is possible that the travel ban may be lifted, and tourists may be able to visit this enigmatic country.

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