North Korea Likely to Reopen to International Tourists in Late 2024, Travel Company Says

North Korea plans to reopen to foreign tourists in 2024, signaling a shift in its diplomatic isolation. The move could have significant economic and geopolitical implications as the country strengthens ties with Russia and Iran.

Emmanuel Abara Benson
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North Korea Likely to Reopen to International Tourists in Late 2024, Travel Company Says

North Korea Likely to Reopen to International Tourists in Late 2024, Travel Company Says

North Korea is likely to reopen its borders to international tourists in the second half of 2024, according to a travel company specializing in tours to the isolated nation.

The announcement follows a recent visit by Russian tourists, the first foreigners to enter the country since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Young Pioneer Tours (YPT), a company that organizes trips to North Korea, stated on its website that it anticipates a resumption of foreign tours as early as July 2024. However, North Korean authorities have not provided a set date for the reopening.

The recent visit by Russian tourists signifies a notable development in North Korea's efforts to break out of its diplomatic isolation. The country has been making progress to boost its ties with Russia and China, as leader Kim Jong Un pushes to build up cooperation with countries confronting the United States.

Why this matters: The potential reopening of North Korea to international tourism in 2024 could have significant implications for the country's economy and diplomatic relations. It may also provide a rare glimpse into the secretive nation for foreign visitors.

In addition to the tourism developments, a high-level North Korean economic delegation is currently traveling to Iran for what would be the two countries' first talks since the start of the pandemic. Both North Korea and Iran have been accused of providing military equipment to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, raising concerns from the United States about potential military cooperation between the three nations.

The visit by the North Korean delegation, led by the minister of external economic relations, to Iran is seen as part of Pyongyang's efforts to cultivate diplomatic relations by expanding its ties with Moscow-friendly nations. The talks between North Korea and Iran, both heavily sanctioned countries, come as they align in the face of their separate confrontations with the United States.

As North Korea continues to navigate its way out of isolation and strengthen its alliances, the international community will be closely monitoring developments in the region. The potential reopening of the country to foreign tourists in 2024, along with its growing ties with Russia and Iran, could have far-reaching consequences for geopolitical dynamics in the years to come.

Key Takeaways

  • North Korea is likely to reopen to tourists in 2H 2024, per tour company.
  • The first foreign tourists since COVID-19 were recent Russian visitors to NK.
  • NK strengthening ties with Russia, China, and Iran amid isolation.
  • NK economic delegation visiting Iran for first talks since pandemic.
  • NK's potential tourism reopening and growing alliances may impact geopolitics.