Visiting North Korea can be challenging, and you will not have the freedom to explore the country without a North Korean escort, either as part of a group or individual tour.
Citizens of South Korea are normally not permitted to visit North Korea. In addition, there have been reports of difficulties regarding Israeli, American, British, and Japanese nationals. In January 2010, North Korea lifted the restrictions on American citizens who are now free to visit at anytime of the year - but they are not allowed to travel by train (especially the train to beijing) and to participate at homestay-programs. Contrary to rumor, Israelis and Jewish citizens of other countries do not face any additional restrictions. Citizens of all countries will need a visa, which will only be issued after your tour has been booked, approved by the North Korean authorities and paid for. Journalists (or those suspected of being journalists) require special permission, which is quite difficult to obtain. The North Koreans do not allow journalists to visit the country on tourist visas. A specialist North Korean travel agency can help you sort out the complex and ever-changing regulations. North Korea will rarely in practice refuse a visa to a tourist who meets the various requirements.
The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about North Korea
Where To Stay & Best Hotels in North Korea - updated Oct 2020
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