AA7295
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US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:28 am

Hi There,

I'm a US citizen who is doing a round the world trip beginning in Japan. I would LOVE to go to North Korea and experience something so different. Problem is, I have no idea how to do it. I only want to go in November 09 or January 10 for like a week and a bit or so.

I have read the Department of State's information on obtaining visas, but it wasn't entirely clear on weather I can get a Visa at the Mission to the UN or if I must get the visa in Beijing. Can someone confirm.

Also, I will travelling RTW by myself, how can I get into a group tour for North Korea?

Also, as I will be travelling with my laptop, is there anywhere/or a place I can leave my laptop or other valuable somewhere securely in Tokyo. I do not have any friends/family in Japan.

Any help would be grealy appreciated!

AA7296
 
kaitak
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:46 am

Hi AA7295,

I got an email the other day from Koryo Tours, which specialises in trips to the DPRK. Here is the page for US tours; it looks as if these are only possible when the Mass Games are on; however, these will be taking place this year.

http://www.koryogroup.com/travel_usGroupTours.php

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
Also, as I will be travelling with my laptop, is there anywhere/or a place I can leave my laptop or other valuable somewhere securely in Tokyo. I do not have any friends/family in Japan.

I'm guessing here, but most Japanese airports have lockers, where you can leave stuff for quite a while (I know KIX does, but not 100% sure about NRT). HOWEVER, you should bear in mind that any trip you're likely to be doing to the DPRK will start from PEK, so you should probably look into a hotel there; I'd suggest emailing a hotel in PEK and explain the situation and could you leave some stuff with them for a few days.
 
EMBQA
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:58 pm

Why would you want too...? It's a closed country and even if you could go, you would be under an escort the whole time. You will be shown only what they want you to see and even how to see it. ABC News did a show a year or so back on a group of Doctors going over to do humaniartary work and they talked about all the hurdles they had to go through..and the country assigned escort 'Minder' that was with them every second.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
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Francoflier
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:06 pm



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 2):
Why would you want too...? It's a closed country and even if you could go, you would be under an escort the whole time. You will be shown only what they want you to see and even how to see it. ABC News did a show a year or so back on a group of Doctors going over to do humaniartary work and they talked about all the hurdles they had to go through..and the country assigned escort 'Minder' that was with them every second.

I'd say that this in itself would be something to experience. It's always good to see that kind of barbaric and restrictive behavior to realize how much libertry we can enjoy and how much we take it for granted...

And there are only so many things such an escort can hide. From what I've seen on the TV documentaries, the way those guys behave and answer questions is always even more telling than the truth itself.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
AverageUser
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:29 pm



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 2):
It's a closed country and even if you could go

It's easier for those from the axis of the nice. Here's the offering from a Finnish agency, 7 alternative itenaries, 2-14 nights, includes the services of a guide and a driver. http://www.traveller.fi/korea_matka.php
 
sw733
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:36 pm

You will run into a lot of people who will think you are crazy for wanting to go. But, it's a heck of an experience. Not an easy one, but worth it. You really need to be part of a group, and as mentioned, you will be severely restricted...no solo trips, no "normal" meals (though you WILL be fed like a king), and kept as far away from any resemblance of real North Korean life as possible. That being said, the place is like going back 45 years in time. It's really something wild to experience, and I recommend it highly.
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:12 pm



Quoting Francoflier (Reply 3):
I'd say that this in itself would be something to experience. It's always good to see that kind of barbaric and restrictive behavior to realize how much libertry we can enjoy and how much we take it for granted...

True. My argument against going is that the only thing you will see is a "Potemkin village" and meet only pre-screened people, plus every single cent one spends on that - not cheap - tour is a personal contribution towards keeping the regime alive (I know that fueling my car is no different as it keeps other evil regimes alive).
And I would not be able to force myself to pay the mandatory "tribute" to that statue of asshat Kim Sr.
Last but not least the fact that outside of your (wiretapped) hotel room you have ZERO privacy and freedom of movement and things such as leaving the hotel on your own are unthinkable would be enough for me to not go.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 4):
includes the services of a guide

Services of a guide/censor/political commissar who will trail your a$$ 24/7... Sometime ago there was a thread about NK and someone posted a link to a 10-part documentary from this tour and it was surreal - I remember they stayed at a hotel as the only guests yet they served food on all tables to pretend there are other guests coming.
Unfortunately it was not on youtube and I lost the link to that video.
 
Boeing4ever
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:58 pm



Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 6):
True. My argument against going is that the only thing you will see is a "Potemkin village" and meet only pre-screened people, plus every single cent one spends on that - not cheap - tour is a personal contribution towards keeping the regime alive (I know that fueling my car is no different as it keeps other evil regimes alive).
And I would not be able to force myself to pay the mandatory "tribute" to that statue of asshat Kim Sr.
Last but not least the fact that outside of your (wiretapped) hotel room you have ZERO privacy and freedom of movement and things such as leaving the hotel on your own are unthinkable would be enough for me to not go.

 checkmark  All true!

North Korea is somewhat of an odd fascination. It'd hard to imagine such a closed off society, and few, if anyone, knows what goes on in the countryside.

Bowing to that statue alone however makes me not want to go despite the curiosity. My principles simply would stop me from bowing to any sort of totalitarian monster. I would much rather defecate on that statue, and we all know how the DPRK would take to that.

North Korea is about as close as one can get to a real manifestation of George Orwell's 1984.

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AverageUser
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:41 am



Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 7):
It'd hard to imagine such a closed off society, and few, if anyone, knows what goes on in the countryside.

Ask Lauri Jakkila, a Christian activist who organized 230 tonnes of food aid by railway to NK in 1998. Three Finnish parlamentarians representing the official Unicef aid were accompanying him. They were warmly received by the deputy speaker of the NK Parliament, who was said to be the "First Lady" in practice since Kim-Yong-Il had taken his disappearance act from public duties. "Honestly, we were let go whereever we wanted to in the countryside and deliver the aid ourselves. " There was no apparent hunger, no famine, refugees, nor people desperately searching for food. Children in the orphanages we "slim like the Finnish kids were in the 1950's, simply but adequately clothed, they liked the food well, but you can't call it a famine."

link

Some pictures by journalist Sami Sillanpää from 2005: http://www2.hs.fi/extrat/kuvakoosteet/korea/kuvat.html Seems to contain some agricultural scenes as well.
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:56 am



Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 6):
Unfortunately it was not on youtube and I lost the link to that video.

Do you by chance remember some names or something. I'd love to do an extensive search for it. It would be neat to watch!
 
redflyer
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:08 am



Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
I would LOVE to go to North Korea and experience something so different. Problem is, I have no idea how to do it.

Easy. Just go someplace where it's cold for most of the year; force yourself to sleep on a dirt floor; dig a hole outside to evacuate your bowels into; subside on half-rations of bread and water only; and watch continuous 24/7 re-runs of old videos of Jimmy Carter talking about his new economic plan that will restore prosperity and glory for all.

That should give you a good flavor of the North Korean experience without having to endure the cost of actually traveling there.
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SOBHI51
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:08 am



Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 6):
(I know that fueling my car is no different as it keeps other evil regimes alive).

Canada, Venezuela, Mexico are evil?  cheeky 
I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
 
Dazed767
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:25 am

Strangely enough Iran and DPRK are 2 places I'd like to visit. Someone on the dpreview forums posted info about his trip to N. Korea probably going back a year ago. A lot of interesting photos which might be on Pbase IIRC. But yeah being a US citizen you could only go in that group during the mass games.
 
flyboysp
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:53 am



Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 9):
Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 6):
Unfortunately it was not on youtube and I lost the link to that video.

Do you by chance remember some names or something. I'd love to do an extensive search for it. It would be neat to watch!

I think this is the link you are looking for. It's called the Vice guide to North Korea and contains 14 episodes.

http://www.vbs.tv/video.php?id=1438428757

Very interesting to watch over and over.
#proudtobeabulldog
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:26 am



Quoting Flyboysp (Reply 13):
I think this is the link you are looking for. It's called the Vice guide to North Korea and contains 14 episodes.

Thanks! That's the one I was looking for.  thumbsup   thumbsup   thumbsup 
Episodes 3 and 5 are the most creepy ones, imho.
 
Doona
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:55 am

I thought it was impossible for anyone holding an American, Japanese, South Korean or Israeli passport to obtain a visa for tourist purposes. (BTW, I can understand the first three, but what is the deal with not allowing Israelis?)

Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 7):
It'd hard to imagine such a closed off society, and few, if anyone, knows what goes on in the countryside.

Well, we do know about the labour/concentration camps for dissenters and other unwanted people.

Still, I'd like to visit the place, even though I'm torn between fascination for this last of the concrete-communist nations, and the horrendous conditions the regime imposes of it's citizens.

Koryo Travel has an office in Stockholm, and I checked their website a couple of years ago for pricing. Not overly expensive. Back then they wanted about 2000 US dollars for a 7 day tour, including air fare from Beijing. And considering that one is not really able to spend very much once there, it's a pretty good deal. All meals are included, hell, all drinks too AFAIK. A couple of excursions into the countryside as well IIRC, visiting Mount Paekgu (or whatever it's called), the birthplace of the Dear Leader (Who, according to old Soviet Records, was born in a village somewhere in Kamchatka, and not on a holy mountain, but I wouldn't mention that if I end up going...).

Anywho, not a bad deal, price wise. Ethically, I'm still on the fence. Trying to figure out if I actually have principles...

Cheers
Mats
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Boeing4ever
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:52 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 8):
Some pictures by journalist Sami Sillanpää from 2005: http://www2.hs.fi/extrat/kuvakoosteet/korea/kuvat.html Seems to contain some agricultural scenes as well.

Yeah, two pictures, that's it. The rest is the stuff you see on the tours. Look at the Vice guide link in Reply 13.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 8):
Ask Lauri Jakkila, a Christian activist who organized 230 tonnes of food aid by railway to NK in 1998. Three Finnish parlamentarians representing the official Unicef aid were accompanying him. They were warmly received by the deputy speaker of the NK Parliament, who was said to be the "First Lady" in practice since Kim-Yong-Il had taken his disappearance act from public duties. "Honestly, we were let go whereever we wanted to in the countryside and deliver the aid ourselves. " There was no apparent hunger, no famine, refugees, nor people desperately searching for food. Children in the orphanages we "slim like the Finnish kids were in the 1950's, simply but adequately clothed, they liked the food well, but you can't call it a famine."

Do you mind not being so shady and finding an english language version of that link? Seems like a lot of other people might disagree.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ6E3cShcVU This documentary shows the exact scenes Lauri refutes.

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 11):
Canada, Venezuela, Mexico are evil?

Hugo Chavez, yes. Venezuela, no. Saudi Arabia though...

Quoting Doona (Reply 15):
Well, we do know about the labour/concentration camps for dissenters and other unwanted people.

 checkmark ...and whatever else we can glean from those lucky enough to defect and live to tell about it.

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AverageUser
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:28 pm



Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 16):

Do you mind not being so shady and finding an english language version of that link?

Well, we have a problem, the fact that almost all Finnish newspapers in the net are published in Finnish (or Swedish) only. Afaik It's only Helsingin Sanomat that has an international edition. Are you afraid I might have somehow lost something in the translation?

I should think one Christian charity worker and three Members of Parliament would make a more or less credible lot.

I'm translating another piece: (from an ad of a biography of Mr Jakkila)

"On 3rd of November 1997, Lauri Jakkila and Counsellor Mr Pi the from the Embassy of North Korea would appear in the Finnish TV news. The North Korean leadership had asked the manager of Ristiretki Via Dolorosa Lauri Jakkila to convey a plea to all Christians of the world to help North Korea with the severe famine there.

The news were quicly spread across the world. The media were keen to follow the historical relief mission of a man of the street from Finland to the closed North Korea. (...)"

The cat walked on the keyboard here: link
 
EMBQA
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:32 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 4):
includes the services of a guide and a driver

Sure... they are actually Gov't Employees to make sure you only see what they want you to see. Don't think for a second it's an open tour and you can see and go where you want. The 'Minder' will keep a tight leash on everyone
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
NoUFO
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:11 pm



Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 7):
Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 6):
True. My argument against going is that the only thing you will see is a "Potemkin village" and meet only pre-screened people, plus every single cent one spends on that - not cheap - tour is a personal contribution towards keeping the regime alive (I know that fueling my car is no different as it keeps other evil regimes alive).
And I would not be able to force myself to pay the mandatory "tribute" to that statue of asshat Kim Sr.
Last but not least the fact that outside of your (wiretapped) hotel room you have ZERO privacy and freedom of movement and things such as leaving the hotel on your own are unthinkable would be enough for me to not go.

checkmark All true!

North Korea is somewhat of an odd fascination. It'd hard to imagine such a closed off society, and few, if anyone, knows what goes on in the countryside.

Bowing to that statue alone however makes me not want to go despite the curiosity.

I agree, that's exactly what keeps me back (apart from the lack of funding right now). I'd LOVE to see the country, but I'm still trying to figure how I can turn the mandatory bowing into something I can do with a clear conscience. Perhaps I could curse him?

// ---- snip -----

Two Austrians travelled from Vienna all the way to Pyongyang by train. It is usually prohibited to enter the country this way, which makes their travelogue an even more interesting read (if you perhaps skip the parts where they talk about trains too much for my taste):

http://vienna-pyongyang.blogspot.com/
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jcs17
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:03 am

I'm an ardent conservative Republican (with plenty of Libertarian leanings), but one of my absolute goals is to make it to North Korea at some point before the regime falls. To view the most isolationist, dictatorial, Communist nation in the world is something that I would find supremely interesting. The cult of personality around Dear Leader is enough to make me want to go there. I can't read enough blogs or watch enough YouTube clips about North Korea.
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AA7295
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:41 pm

Thanks heaps guys for your response.

Essentially, I want to go because it is sooooo different.

What are the provisions if I use my Australian passport? (I always prefer to use my US passport, due to differences in Consular Assistance - I've just received better help on my US passport - probably wouldn't be the case in NK though!) Can I still enter? Also, can I enter after the mass games?

I cannot find any tours to North Korea at any of the agencies that do tours around late November or early January? Can anyone help?

Cheers,
AA7295
 
Boeing4ever
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:10 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 17):
Well, we have a problem, the fact that almost all Finnish newspapers in the net are published in Finnish (or Swedish) only.

Oh come now, it's a small world. I'm sure you can find non-Finnish sources for everyone else to be able to read for temselves.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 17):
Are you afraid I might have somehow lost something in the translation?

Why gee, I would never accuse someone of doing that...especially not an A.netter...the most trustworthy type on the planet!

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 17):
I should think one Christian charity worker and three Members of Parliament would make a more or less credible lot.

I would think the video evidence in that documentary I showed you would seem to be credible. You might be one of the few people in the world claiming there is no famine in N. Korea.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 4):
includes the services of a guide and a driver.

I missed this little snippet earlier. You do know the purpose of the guide and driver right? I mean a freer society like the US, Canada, or Finland allow you to tour without having your hand held. You can see whatever you damn well please as long as it's not sensitive government installations like Area 51. In the DPRK you are hurried into a Pyongyang hotel where you are one of a handful of guests and every morning your guid and driver take you to see monuments, the DMZ, a barrage, and that's about it. A nice, pre-packaged, sanitized tour. Oh, and I'm pretty sure when I stayed in the Ramada in Toronto many moons ago, the rooms weren't bugged. Nor were any of the hotels in Vienna, or Warsaw, or Regensburg, etc. And when I asked the locals if they liked it there or not, I got an honest response...without having to worry about those poor souls being sent to reeducation camps or worse.

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AverageUser
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:21 pm



Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 22):
. You do know the purpose of the guide and driver right?

I was actually going put the guide inside quotation marks, but I then thought everyone here is an adult and knows the system already.

Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 22):
You might be one of the few people in the world claiming there is no famine in N. Korea.

Please remember the words were not mine, but from someone in an official Finnish delegation to North Korea. I'm sorry if they did not match what you were perhaps expecting.
I see you are also expressing doubts or "doubts" about my translation. As I said, feel free to ask him Mr Jakkila directly about the truthfulness of his statements, he's likely to contactable through his organization: mail(ät)viado.fi


At the present, NK is slowly opening up, are we seeing U.S. or EU firms doing business there first? What is interesting is the coming free trade agreement between the EU and South Korea, perhaps including a special economic area inside the North!
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:25 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 8):
Ask Lauri Jakkila

Regardless of his opinion on whether there was famine in NK or not, he certainly deserves credit and praise for his effort and especially for supervising the delivery of the food himself, which hopefully reduces the likelihood of the aid ending up in military warehouses.
How much freedom of movement he really had or how accurate his assessment of the situation is up for discussion. Numerous sources claim exactly opposite in regards to late 1990s famine in NK. On the other hand he would not be the first or the last one to be fooled by totalitarian system (see intellectuals visiting the USSR in the 1930s, recent visit by US senators to Cuba, etc. - whether they were fooled or were just ignorant on purpose to prop their agenda is another question)
The degree of isolation of the North Korea is incredible (anyone remembers the giant train explosion couple years ago? It took DAYS - in 21st century - to find out what really happened. Days even with all those intel gadgets, spy satellites, etc.).
What I gathered from reading up on the issue, apparently the farther north one goes the worse it gets so one explanation (my speculation) is that Mr. Jakkila was allowed free movement in a an area not so severely hit by famine.
Even if there was no severe malnutrition problem, the NK regime would stil be a giant concentration camp and "moral question marks" regarding going on such tour still pressing. And moral issues aside, going on a tour and live in a skyscraper ALONE, go to a Potemkin village shop and be there just by yourself, "party" with your guards and be the only one in a bar... I would go nuts.
 
AverageUser
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:47 pm



Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 24):
Numerous sources claim exactly opposite in regards to late 1990s famine in NK.

We may ask, then, on what amount of actual fieldwork that multitude is in turn based on? Lacking proper data the journalists have a bad habit of resorting to interviewing each other, and then produce a "correct" picture, i.e. one that meets the preconceived notions best. A day in the internet should make anyone aware of the scheme.
 
redflyer
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:56 pm



Quoting Jcs17 (Reply 20):
The cult of personality around Dear Leader is enough to make me want to go there. I can't read enough blogs or watch enough YouTube clips about North Korea.

Well, here's one to indulge your perverse sense of...hmmm...pain?  Wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dC2aDHtEqk
My other home is in the sky inside my Piper Cherokee 180.
 
smolt
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:46 pm

Hi.

If you are interested both in Japan and in Korea, I highly recommend you will know much
about Korean residents in Japan (both South and North). They are descendants of those
who came, compulsively or voluntarily, from Japan-dominated Korea to Japan more than
60 years ago. Across generations they have not discarded Korean nationality though they
were born and brought up just like Japanese. North Korean residents formed General Association of Korean Residents, which have been taking hugely wide actions for their interest.
The association have two characteristics; mutual aid and diplomatic presence of their main land.

I am not sure this helps, but Chugai Travel in Tokyo Japan is they say an exclusive contact window for Japanese to acquire north Korea's visa and Koryo air ticket. This company is run by
north Korean residents in Japan. If you understand Japanese, it will be easier to communicate.
http://www.chugai-trv.co.jp/index.html


I have read a Japanese report who participated in North Korea tour about ten years ago,
who have done all procedure in Japan and was handed a North Korea's visa at Beijing during transit. He told the visa was just a sheet of paper and on his passport there remained no history of his entry to North Korea.

Though there is contradiction, depending on how relationship goes between Japan and North Korea there may be some affect if you plan to North Korea trip in conjunction with visiting Japan. Also if you want to visit South Korea you should in advance confirm that your history of
being North Korea affects or not.

As you see, things are a little complicated and, "stinky", but I guess this is also what you want
isn't it?
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:53 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 25):
Lacking proper data the journalists have a bad habit of resorting to interviewing each other, and then produce a "correct" picture, i.e. one that meets the preconceived notions best.

True. On the other hand when you have even the NK top officials publically admitting the famine and estimating the casualties in low 200,000s - as was the case with DPRK Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon at UNICEF conference in Bejing, May 2001 and the word "famine" frequently appears in the UN press releases or serious peer-reviewed publications such as The Lancet maybe there is a problem.
Imagine if the North Korean government had to go as far as humiliating itself and crossing the line of official denial by spilling the beans of unconvenient truth about the "workers' paradise" how bad the reality must have been? Should we multiply the official figure x5 or rather x10 ???

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/korea_27578.html
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/la.../PIIS0140-6736(00)04874-1/fulltext
 
Boeing4ever
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:48 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 23):
I was actually going put the guide inside quotation marks, but I then thought everyone here is an adult and knows the system already.

Maybe you shouldn't try to come off as so defensive of the DPRK regime then...

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 23):
Please remember the words were not mine, but from someone in an official Finnish delegation to North Korea. I'm sorry if they did not match what you were perhaps expecting.
I see you are also expressing doubts or "doubts" about my translation. As I said, feel free to ask him Mr Jakkila directly about the truthfulness of his statements, he's likely to contactable through his organization: mail(ät)viado.fi

That's fine. Numerous defectors and aid agencies disagree with him. The video evidence in that documentary doesn't help his case either. It's likely he saw what the regime wanted him to see.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 23):
At the present, NK is slowly opening up, are we seeing U.S. or EU firms doing business there first? What is interesting is the coming free trade agreement between the EU and South Korea, perhaps including a special economic area inside the North!

Slowly opening up...that's funny. In recent months Pyongyang has started cutting lines of communication with S. Korea. Even the city of Kaesong, home to a joint economic area in the North (the one of which you speak), is harder to access now.

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HSVXJ
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RE: US Citizen Going To North Korea?

Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:12 pm

Politics aside, I have always had a fascination with these types of countries. A buddy of mine (civilian employee of the army) was never in DPRK, but had some great pictures at the DMZ. I would love to see what is behind it, however sanitized for my viewing. That, in itself, would be something to experience.

I'm waiting on my dual citizenship (I was born here) to be finalized, then once I hold a Philippine passport, maybe that should make it a bit easier to get in.

Chris
Nature forms us for ourselves, not for others; to be, not to seem.

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