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Talk:North Korea

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The last update of North Korea was by myself. Computer took it upon itself to log out while I was writing. Professorbiscuit 22:10, 9 Aug 2004 (EDT)

Lie some more please[edit]

There is no food shortage in NK, that is over since 2000 Also, there is no risk in travel to North Korea unless you are stupid enought, tourist who got arrested in NK were idiots who disobeid the rules "DO NOT BRING ANY RELIGIOUS SYMBOL" and an idiot the first thing he does is start gifting bibles to the N. Koreans, if you do that, you WILL be sentenced to Forced Work, but almost nobody is stupid enought Almost all of this article is typical propaganda for make the DPRK look like an Orwellian hell


I got here looking how to emigrate/defect to the DPRK (North Korea) and I dont find results, howerer, this place looks like the right place to ask


The page for North Korea doesn't have a Respect section, while that for the South does. Could a more educated Wikitraveller who is more knowledgeable on North Korea, see whether the things mentioned in the Respect section of South Korea are also valid for the North? Eyeflash 16:58, 17 Nov 2005 (EST)


Removed 'Israel' from the list of countries whose citizens are generally not allowed to travel into NK. Currently, this rule applies only to US and SK citizens. note: NK does not recognize dual nationality.

This article in the Wall Street Journal disagrees — "North Korea has told travel companies it won't grant visas to journalists, Korean-Americans and Israelis.". What's your source? Jpatokal 20:59, 14 March 2006 (EST)

I am a photojournalist travelling to NK tomorrow. I was told that US, SK and japanese nationals cannot apply. I was OK. I am not Israeli but since israel was not mentioned in the correspondance with NK officials, I can conclude that israeli are allowed.

No updates? Did they let you out? lol

Travel to NK is not recommended[edit]

Why is there a warning at the top saying "travel to North Korea is not recommended"? Plenty of people are still visiting. The news report quoted is from Fox News - a right wing TV company well known for its strong support for George Bush, we are hardly going to see a unbiased report from them. North Korea is not in the list of countries that the British Govt advise their nationals to avoid [1]. I think the "travel to North Korea is not recommended" sentence should be completely removed. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14:03, 18 March 2009

The same applies to the US Govt travel advice website - no warning against travel to NK [2] —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14:11, 18 March 2009

Actually, as of 11/03/2011, the US Gov't has a warning against traveling to the DPRK, found at the above site. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs) 08:35, 20 November 2011

Travel is actually possible for anyone who is not a South Korean citizen, even Korean Americans are allowed. I went on a tour to the DPRK with Young Pioneer tours that had numerous Korean Americans and an Israeli. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs) 03:58, 12 June 2012

Nobody should ever visit North Korea at all. That country is a supermax prison. Zsedc (talk) 23:22, 2 November 2018 (EDT)


I made some changes that were reverted with the motivation that wikitravel is not supposed to be NPOV but just fair and honest. I think this article is very coloured by a specific political point of view. I live in Sweden and here freedom of religion for swedes (immigrants had freedom of religion before that) was instituted in 1951. Would anyone say that the porpose of the state church and other state supported religious groups back then existed to "provide illusion of religious freedom"? Why then should this said about North Korea?

I understand you because you live in Sweden, a narrowminded country that just instituted in 1951 the freedom of religion (I've noted that you specifically had to say it, WHO CARES?). In my country freedom of religion was instituted in 1645. The article about my country is one of the most complete and it doesn't refer nothing whatsoever about religion. who cares anyway? It's not like tourists are going to North Korea to attend a religious event! The article seams to me very NPOV. Actually your comment is very biased. In wikitravel we don't care where you are from. You can as well be in Nepal or North Korea or USA. It doesn't matter as long as you remain unbiased. I've found the article very unbiased. I liked it so much that I'm planning a trip. I've met several persons that went there. All things are correct in this article. Yes, small and with much more to tell, but it doesn't give any false information whatsoever. "provide illusion of religious freedom"? well that's what happens there. They create the illusion. Everyone in that country lives in somekind of illusion. It's surreal. Is this discussion even needed? In that part the article states anything that is not true? No. You are the biased one not the article.

Because it's true about North Korea?
To expand on this, North Korea doesn't have legal religious activity of any kind. There are some show churches and such that foreign visitors are occasionally trotted out to, but the same visitors have confirmed that eg. the "Christian priests" don't know even the basics of their supposed religion. Jpatokal 14:01, 13 June 2006 (EDT)
No, the Wikitravel of 1950 would say about Sweden that Swedes did not have religious freedom and immigrants did. There would be no need to use the word "illusion" because as I understand from you, there wasn't even the illusion of religious freedom then. — Ravikiran 10:12, 13 June 2006 (EDT)
Comparisons only go so far. My only point was that a system that seems fair in a country like Sweden is considered as evil when it occurs in Norh Korea. I am not a supporter of the North Korean government, Juche or communism - but painting them pitch black on all accounts is unnecessary. I think they should be judged the same way any other government is judged. Using inflammatory language against them serves no purpose. 06:34, 14 June 2006 (EDT)
I wouldn't consider the system in the Sweden of 1950 fair either. More pertinently, the question is not whether the system is fair or not. The question is whether the statement "Swedes do not have religious freedom" would have been a fair comment in the Wikitravel article of 1950. The answer is, yes, it would have been. — Ravikiran 06:48, 14 June 2006 (EDT)

I believe that the democrats and republicans in the US are essentially the same and that the bi-party system of the US is undemocratic since it effectively excludes all opposition parties. Does that mean that the article about the US should say that there are two political parties to "provide illusion of political freedom"? Well, obviously not.

I really can't see how my edit was not in the spirit of "fairness".

As for the Korean war. How can it be fair to call the actions of the north "overrunning" and the south/US "uniting". North korea winning the war would also have been a uniting, and the US conquering all of Korea would have been an overrunning of the North. Why is the positive word associated with the US and the negative with the north? 08:32, 13 June 2006 (EDT)

I'm not accusing you of being "unfair", just pointing out that there was nothing unfair (and therefore nothing inappropriate) about the material you changed. We don't want Wikitravel to read like an encyclopedia (someone's already doing that, next domain over), so editing something for a strictly NPOV is not generally consistent with our goals. Wikitravel is a guide. We're here to give our assessments about places... just honest and fair ones. If what's there now isn't fair – if Kim Jong-il really is doing his best to let people practise whatever they believe – by all means fix it. But don't neuter it just for the sake of NPOV, because that's not one of our goals. - Todd VerBeek 09:32, 13 June 2006 (EDT)
I rewrote the Korean War section, hopefully it's a bit better now. However, I think it's fair to place some blame on the DPRK, as they were the ones who invaded... Jpatokal 14:01, 13 June 2006 (EDT)
O bit off topic: Well, you could also see it as Koreans fighting for their national right of self determination against a foreign aggressor fighting to defend its economic and geopolitical interest. It could also be mentioned that the US could use UN only because the soviets were boycotting it. The american revolution showed the importance of the right to self determination, yet the US has been the greatest enemy of self determination in countries like Korea. 06:34, 14 June 2006 (EDT)
Again, this isn't Wikipedia. Let's stick to what happened, which isn't subject to much dispute, and leave the whys and wherefores to historians. Jpatokal 10:09, 14 June 2006 (EDT)


Not very much is to say about them, since you are not allowed to talk to them without the permission and supervison of your tour guide. ... okay..

Government Type[edit]

Someone likes to change the "Government Type" periodically. In some perverse way, their changes may be true. But the purpose of Wikitravel is to provide useful information to travellers. A change which obscures the Very Special nature of the North Korean government is not helpful. "Stalinist dictatorship" works best, I think, because it punches the reader in the face with a clear and unambigous description about what to expect. While it is more complicated than that, this short phrase gets the reader as close as any short phrase is going to get them to understanding. And then they can read the text for the petty details. -- Colin 22:16, 21 June 2006 (EDT)

I think totalitarian socialism describes the government more accurately, primarily because "stalinist" is an informal term, and because totalitarian socialism is the officially accepted description of the government, and it can be found on many international NGO websites -- Dan
This is not an encylopedia, so we don't need to use formal terms. Since this is a guide for travellers, we are looking for a short phrase that is easily understood by the traveller. By using "stalinist", we refer the reader to Stalin and the type of government that was with all its issues, which is the best comparison we have. And the article goes into the gory details, so we're just looking for quick comprehension in the countrybar rather than perfect details which can be left to the article. -- Colin 13:02, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Having researched the subject of DPRK, I have realised that the country is actually a socialist democracy, why not stick to the facts of the government in the infobox, rather than the US government's opinion!-- Dan
This has nothing to do with "official US government opinion." We've already changed from that -- "Communist State" -- to something that is more easily understood by the traveller. Since Wikitravel:The traveller comes first and you have not addressed the traveller's concerns in your comment, I'll change it back. -- Colin 11:30, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
I am confused as to why people believe DPRK is a dictatorship, has anyone actually been? I have several times and I was highly aware of an election in Kaesong on one occassionDan
Your views appear to be so far from the mainstream that it is unclear to me if anything could bridge the gap.
So let me just say that we work here by Wikitravel:Consensus. By tradition, convention, and policy, you will need to gather a consensus to make your change. Steamrolling a change will not work; instead, you must convince people that your change is valid and get together a consensus of people who support your change. In the meantime, please refrain from trying to force your change to the status quo through -- that isn't how we do things here.
I oppose your edit. Per policy, you now need to get together a clear consensus (or convince me) before proceding with your edit. -- Colin 17:20, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
Oh... when trying to gather your consensus, if you feel no one is paying attention, trying asking for input at Wikitravel:Requests for comment. -- Colin 17:31, 25 August 2006 (EDT)

Hi Bill, you made a change calling this "Single-party Socialist (per constitution) republic". To me, that's one heckava mouthful that has way too many meaningless words: the constitution is only a convenience since it could be overthrown on a whim. Republic does mean anything to me either: a self-appointing oligarchy isn't really a republic since the slave-class has no republican rights and makes up the vast majority of the country (yeah, I'd decline to call ancient Athens a "republic" to a traveller too since that would imply a level of freedom that was nonexistent for the slaves, so it's too much of an oversimplification). In a republic, even the lowliest voters ought be able to promote a different leader, which isn't true in this heirarchical committee system.

I've always liked "Stalinist dictatorship" since it gets across the most important ideas to the readers fast: first, that the government is overcontrolling (unusually so even for a dictatorship!) like Stalin, and second that there is a head Stalin who should not be disrespected on peril of your life. I'd druther keep this meaning for fast-recognition by the traveller. Two-words of description, and the extra info a traveller might need is pretty much fine-level detail at that point.

And lastly, why compromise with someone who has been to North Korea and saw no dictatorship, and who's near-every-edit is politically motivated? I'd rather wait and compromise with someone who sees the situation as it is, but disagrees with the phrase. -- Colin 17:51, 25 August 2006 (EDT)

Also, Wikipedia is a poor example. As an encylopedia, they can use any archane term and then link to a full explaination of the term. We here should just use terms which are widely understood. -- Colin 17:52, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
I'm inclined to agree with Colin here that we should leave the article as it was, mostly based on the fact that "assume good faith" only lasts so long, and based on the editor in question's recent edits I'm not sure that the focus on government types is being made in the interest of doing what's most helpful towards creating a useful travel guide and in the spirit of calling a spade a spade. It might be worth discussing whether there's a source we can all agree on for lists of "government types", but until that discussion happens I'm very much opposed to making changes based on someone trying to push a political viewpoint. -- Ryan 18:14, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
I would tend to think "Beloved Leader" pretty much sums it up regardless of how you feel about him. I'm going to make that change, and see what happens. -- Mark 14:42, 27 August 2006 (EDT)
While I understand the joke, I don't think that makes much sense as a government type, and again cast my vote for the original -- "Stalinist dictatorship". Jpatokal 16:28, 27 August 2006 (EDT)
How about "The Beloved Leader"? -- Mark 17:19, 27 August 2006 (EDT)
Or even better: "Kim Jong Il and the party is doubleplusgood, and all oldthinkful crimethinkers should be sent to joycamp or be evaporated!" -GSchjetne 20:15, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

So it bounced around from various jokes and eventually landed at "Communist State". I don't care for that term since we use it for less extreme dictatorships like Cuba. Since the attempt at compromise failed, I put it back to "Stalinst dictatorship" since that's what it started with and it seems to have some broad support. -- Colin 16:24, 27 June 2007 (EDT)

OK a few points, not that there's anything inaccurate about the term "Stalinist dictatorship", it seems a little bit "abrupt" if you follow what I mean. Perhaps it's true, it probably is... but under the policy "it's what a lot of people believe so lets put it down" we could have the government type of the United States as "badly run farce with a slightly stupid man called George at the top" or the British government as "monarchy/democracy/republic where no-one really knows who's in charge" or even Iraq "meant to be the Iraqis, more so the US government and a few militias thrown in". Follow my drift? North Korea is normally called a communist state or more often "people's republic". Doesn't either of those terms please everyone? --MiddleEastern 11:43, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
Those description of the US and UK - while arguably accurate - are a bit long. :) Either "communist state" or "people's republic" fails to capture the fact that NK's type of government is rather different from the PRC's or Cuba's. If "Stalinist" is giving you problems, how about "Communist dictatorship"? - Todd VerBeek 12:44, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, the infobox is necessarily abrupt. Let's face it, anyone who needs to look at an infobox to understand what's up with the NK government is woefully ignorant. We're trying to hit them hard with the cluebat there, and it's a blunt instrument. No one wants some idiot who thinks it's funny to disobey their guides to travel to NK for their spring break. -- Colin 15:37, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
"Communist dictatorship" works for me. Not quite so abrupt while still getting the point across. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:33, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
Communist dictatorship could also be used for Cuba. What I'm looking for is a statement that this is something clearly different than Cuba and clearly different from 1980s USSR. -- Colin 23:16, 30 June 2007 (EDT)

why visit NK[edit]

This is a messed up place. Who would want to go to North Korea other than spies or journalists? Seriously people... --Member 15:22, 29 June 2006 (EDT)

Good point. We should also get rid of the article on Pakistan, Iran, Palestinian Territories, Iraq, Liberia, and a bunch of others.
More seriously, people travel all over the world. Just because a place isn't suitable for family vacations doesn't mean there's no reason to provide travel information about it. -- Ryan 15:30, 29 June 2006 (EDT)
Well, one group of folks I can think of are UN/NGO workers. They get to do the coolest business trips... Majnoona 16:00, 29 June 2006 (EDT)
I think that having coverage of places that only specialists will go to is one of the great strengths of Wikitravel. If we have a guide that helps an aid worker find their way around town, well, we've done a pretty good thing. --Evan 13:05, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Also, look at it this way: now that you've read the article on North Korea, you won't make the mistake of going there.... 22:58, 5 August 2006 (EDT)
ROFL - Awesome point! Those KFA lunatics like to visit, so they can parade up and down in front of school kids and stuff for propaganda purposes. Check their video's on YouTube. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)
KFA arent really lunatics, they are a friendship society, really the only reason you dont like them is because of what the USA says about Korea —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Korea dan (talkcontribs)
More seriously we don't concern ourselves with why. We write guides for people who are going or who are considering going and try to write a guide which will explain what to expect so that there are fewer surprises when travelling. -- Colin 15:08, 1 October 2006 (EDT)
Exactly, I mean who does it help if we debate whether its worth going to a destination :S --Korea dan 15:23, 1 October 2006 (EDT)

I would find it interesting to visit NK, and i don't think I'm the only one. -- 14:36, 16 February 2007 (EST)

Like the person who wrote before me, I would like to visit North Korea- precisely because it's messed up and it's shrouded in secrets. Think about it- it's the only messed up place on earth that one can visit without fear of being hit by bombs. Visiting "messed up" places opens one's eyes to human nature, the human psyche- it never amazes me how one human being, through ingeniously skillful political manoeuvering, can bend an entire adult populace to his will! And convince them all that it's all for their own good (or the good of the country), and the prison in which they dwell is heaven on earth! A true study in the complex psychology of politics, and history (cf. Hitler) and how, as humans, even in the 21st century and the age of science and mass communication, we're never safe from the raw power of the mob mentality...

After reading the article, I want to visit NK even more... I don't mind bowing to statues and dripping praise on things and people I have no admiration for- we all do the latter every day in the West (it's called "paving your way for a promotion")... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Angela1204 (talkcontribs)

I think visiting North Korea would be fascinating, though I would be reluctant to provide the North Korean government with hard currency. 00:59, 13 June 2007 (EDT)

I would find it very interesting and different experience to go to because of all the secrets and strict rules you have to follow it just be a different thing to do.

So much disscussion over a so idiotic thing For start, Stalinism doesnt exist, Stalin was a Marxist-Leninist, and I love how you want to expand more propaganda lies about Stalin and the DPRK. Stalin was NOT A DICTATOR, he was NOT BRUTAL, and the DPRK is NOT TOTALITARIAN

Korean Friendship Association[edit]

The Korean Friendship Association is, for all intents and purposes, the DPRK's official homepage -- see About. Mr. Cao de Benos may be a few raisins short of a fruitcake, but the official endorsements listed on the site are not a joke, and there are no competing 'more official' sites because the .kp domain is dormant. Jpatokal 21:40, 12 October 2006 (EDT)

I disagree, but will defer to what you think. Here's my reasoning: the Disney Super Fan Club is never a primary source for Disneyland even if Disneyland can't be bothered to host a website of their own and Disneyland thinks the DSFC is a cool club and lets them talk to the Disneyland advertising department. My concern is that an official site should only hold the opinions of officialdom. While a fansite may think great things about official opinion, since the site is ultimately created by the fans it could be out of alignment with official policy since officialdom may not see fit to correct the site when it is in error.
Second, the fine policy only allows for two kinds of extlinks. 1. a government website and 2. an official tourist website. DPRK is neither a part of the government nor is it a tourism website. It's a fan club website.
Of course, the link should be in the correct place for such a site. We do not break out fan clubs as separate listings, but I see you did that already. -- Colin 23:18, 12 October 2006 (EDT)
I'd agree with you if this was Wikipedia, but it's not. The KFA's status as the "most official site" for both government and tourism is undisputed, and some parts of it are useful to the traveler (they organize relatively cheap tours, for example), so there's more value to having the link than not having it. I also really don't think Disney would ever endorse a fan club that they don't have full control of, whereas I'm pretty sure that the KFA site has been carefully vetted by The Authorities and does not contain any counterrevolutionary imperialist misinformation. Jpatokal 23:59, 12 October 2006 (EDT)
All that said, I wouldn't be violently opposed to shunting the KFA down the page into a list of tour organizers, along with Koryo Tours etc. Jpatokal 00:04, 13 October 2006 (EDT)

McCune-Reischauer versions[edit]

Re: Nampo vs Namp'o vs Nampho, Wikitravel:Romanization states that apostrophes and breves should be dropped from titles, and I've also arbitrarily decreed that we should use standard McCune-Reischauer, not the weird North Korean variant: even KCNA doesn't spell 평양 as "Phyongyang". Jpatokal 08:59, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

I think its McCune-Reischauer in NK isn't it? And something more simple in the south. You've got Phyongyang in one mutation, Pyeongyang in Mc.-Rei. and Pyongyang in modernised. Is that right? --MiddleEastern 11:54, 29 June 2007 (EDT)

Government type[edit]

Since "Stalinism" is a derrogatory term for the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, and Marxism-Leninism was abandoned by Kim Il-Sung after 1953 for Juche, it is not correct to call the DPRK a "Stalinist dictatorship". "Juche state" is more appropriate, since it accurately tells you about the government and it's ideology.

No, it doesn't. "Juche state" is meaningless if you aren't already familiar with DPRK politics, and it's a perverse joke if you are. To quote WP, Juche's core idea is that "man is the master of everything and decides everything" — and there's precisely one man who is, indeed, master of everything... Jpatokal 23:04, 16 July 2007 (EDT)
Are you referring to your religion? Or North Korea? Because in the DPRK there really is one man who is the master of everything. 11:38, 9 September 2013 (EDT)


Nowhere in DPRK is Stalin praised, or even acknowledged with regards to government and ideology. Calling DPRK a "Stalinist Dictatorship" makes Wikitravel appear amateurish and compromises its integrity. The most accurate term would be Juche state, then Communist state, however, people here don't agree. So a good compromise seems to be the CIA World Factbook phrasing "Communist state one-man dictatorship," which is more scary sounding than Cuba and PRC's "Communist state" label, achieving the goal of helping people realize that DPRK is different than Cuba and PRC. Anyhow, if anyone reads the entire article, he will recognize the heavy totalitarianism in DPRK. No one goes to a Wikitravel article, reads the one or two word government description, and decides that it's a great idea to travel to that country. And because all travelers to DPRK have to go on guided tour, I'm sure the tour company will talk about the totalitarian-ness of the country. Honestly, I'm okay with any accurate description of the government of DPRK. But Stalinist is terribly inaccurate. -- 13:52, 22 July 2007 (EDT)

To add to this, I just looked at the article for Turkmenistan, which is really only slightly less dictatorial than DPRK, and the description on that page is simply "Dictatorship." Could we settle for Dictatorship?-- 14:03, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
Please take a look at this article from Wikipedia: [3]. I have never been to the DPRK, and don't have a strong opinion about which term is most appropriate to describe that particular governmental style. However, from a purely semantics point of view, Stalinist is acceptable, just as the use of Maoist is when used to describe a particular style of revolutionary movement, such as those in Nepal or Peru. WindHorse 21:31, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
Thanks for discussing this. I agree that "Stalinist" is mildly (but not "terribly") misleading, although historically, the DPRK is one of the few countries that never officially "de-Stalinized". But if we're trying to express that the DPRK is totalitarian, then why not "Totalitarian dictatorship"? Jpatokal 22:19, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
'Totalitarian dictatorship' [4] is clear and avoids the ambiguities that surround terms derived from 'Stalin'. I'm ok with making the change. Let's see what others say... WindHorse 22:31, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
Totadict is okay with me. -- Colin 23:39, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
... but I would like to leave it at Stalinist unless the anon contributor agrees to the compromise. -- Colin 13:52, 23 July 2007 (EDT)
I agree with it -- 16:58, 23 July 2007 (EDT)

Religions Banned?[edit]

I noticed the following words in the "Get in" section:

"It is also noted that Protestant Christians and Jews are forbidden to enter the country. So it is important if any members of those religions to not wear or bring anything (e.g. a Bible or Star of David or Christian Cross necklace) that will give away their religious affiliation during the visa process."

I found that hard to believe and so searched Google which did not bring up anything suggesting a ban on Protestants and Jews. I have removed the above wording from the article...but if it is true (and give evidence), feel free to move it back. AHeneen 01:40, 17 February 2009 (EST)

I think it is more likely that you are not allowed to actively practice your religion while you are there...--Hypo Mix 19:52, 10 November 2009 (EST)


Doesn't anybody know that DPRK stands for Democratic People's Republic of Korea???!!! This is a democratic country with democratically elected leaders! How can you call that """Totalitarian Dictatorship"""?

The only difference between DPRK and the USA is that DPRK is based on a consensual leadership thanks to the great popularity of the current leader Kim Jong-Il who got re-elected this year with a little over 100% of the ballot. Obama is nothing compared to that, he who merely received half of the ballots in the 2008 election...

This should be acknowledged and celebrated in the main article.

Quimper sempre paternamos nobis, alea trebilla JUCHE !

huh... what's the weather like in Pyongyang at the moment? --Hypo Mix 19:49, 10 November 2009 (EST)


If you go in august or I have heard september even or travel with Koryo tours in their new american independent travel package you can go as an american as long as you are not jewish PS the option if you are a jew is lie which isn't hard

Appears to be true [5], although I don't see anything in there about being Jewish. Gorilla Jones 19:23, 3 September 2009 (EDT)


is there any way to access the internet for tourists? like in hotels or internet cafes? I think not but it doesnt hurt to ask. I take it laptops have to be surrendered at the border? 03:26, 15 October 2009 (EDT)


Does anyone know North Korea well enough to address the WT regional structure?

We currently show 13 administrative areas which agrees with the CIA map here. It would not be too hard to break these into four or five regions but I am reluctant to do that without any real knowledge of the country. Suggestions? --Burmesedays 12:25, 20 November 2009 (EST)

There are not even enough articles to make districts useful. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)
True, but good, interesting content attracts new contributors. I'm pretty sure we'd be the only folks around with a real travel map or travel regions for the country, and hopefully that might draw in someone knowledgeable. If we ever did get enough DPRK information to fill out even just four subregions, I think that would be star article material. --Peter Talk 18:52, 20 November 2009 (EST)
For obvious reasons there aren't a lot of folks on this site with any experience with North Korea. Based on the article's edit history it looks like Jani may be our most knowledgeable regular user on this area, so his opinion might be the best we have available. In lieu of any detailed knowledge the best option may be your suggestion of taking a stab at 4-5 regions based on a best guess. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:44, 20 November 2009 (EST)

Going from my experience with how the mountains cut South Korea in two, I'd propose something like this - a mix of geographic features, historic provinces, and my best shot at something which is not totally taken out of the blue.

Donghae Coast (동해연안)

Regions: Hamgyŏngbuk, Hamgyŏngnam, Kangwŏn
Cities: Chongjin, Hoeryong, Kimchaek, Rason, Hamhung, Sinpo, Tanchon, Munchon,Wonsan
Othe Destinations: Kŭmgangsan Tourist Region

Baekdu Mountains (백두산맥)

Regions: Ryanggang, Chagang
Cities: Hyesan, Kanggye, Huichon, Manpo

Pyongan (평안)

Regions: Pyongbuk, Pyongnam, Pyongyang.
Cities: Pyongyang, Chongju, Kusong, Pyongsong, Anju, Kaechon, Sunchon, Nampo, Tokchon
Other Destinations: Sinuiju?? (may be dispanded)

Hwanghae (황해)

Regions: Hwangnam, Hwangbuk, Kaesong
Cities: Haeju, Sariwon, Songrim, Sinchon, Changyon, Ongjin
Other Destinations: Kaesong, Panmunjom

--Stefan (sertmann) talk 13:51, 20 November 2009 (EST)

That looks beautiful & elegant to my jaded eyes. --Peter Talk 18:52, 20 November 2009 (EST)
To help this discussion I have drafted a regional map based on Stefan's divisions and put it up here. No places or roads yet, but you can see the 4 proposed regions. I also added the DMZ/demarcation area (in green) as I guess this should be shown as distinct from either Koreas. --Burmesedays 05:13, 21 November 2009 (EST)
Looks good, guess the only question would be to move Hamgyŏngbuk to Baekdu mts, to make the regions similar in size, but that would force regions that aren't there (afaik), and force us to use an arbitrary name for that region. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 06:55, 21 November 2009 (EST)

Map and regionlist template is up. --Burmesedays 09:04, 22 November 2009 (EST)

Really good job Stefan and Peter. This article is exponentially better than it was 72 hours ago.--Burmesedays 10:42, 23 November 2009 (EST)

Travel Agencies[edit]

According to: there are numerous Travel Agencies organising tours to North Korea. Most of them are pretty expensive, which means at least 1000 Euro for a 4/5 day trip. Did anybody try "Explore North Korea Tour Group"? At the moment (13.Feb 2010) they are offering a 5 day trip for about 590 Euro via Dandong which seems to be quite affordable compared to all the other travel agencies. -Zack

Explore North Korea Tour Group's prices also struck me as odd and I am reluctant to try them without some further references. Nonni

That agency also appears to have been deleting its competitors and promoting itself - see most edits from a 99.216.* address in the last few months, untruthfully claiming various other agencies are closed or fakes. This block belongs to the Canadian ISP Rogers, additionally suspicious given that ENKTG is supposedly Toronto-based.
Since these are not good faith edits, I have removed the company from the article's listings, and suggest that it be kept that way. — D. Guillaime 19:59, 21 November 2010 (EST)
hi d. guillaime.

i travelled with "explore north korea tour group" in march 2010, so i can say, they have a really good "price-value". for ppl who want to travel nk on low cost, i wouldnt hesitate to recommend this company. i stayed in contact before and after the trip with a woman called "sabrina" by email and skype, so the communication was more than ok. i would include them again in the list of travel agancies without any doubt. if you have any questions, please dont hesitate to contact me. zzzair [at] gmail dot com (zack)

Hi Zacharias! Don't add answers in more than one spot. The company has violated

our policies and touted our articles. Therefore it is blacklisted and will stay rather longterm. jan 11:07, 26 January 2011 (EST)

I represent ENK (Full Name Blocked by Wikitravel) and our former IT person has been fired for spamming websites such as Wikitravel. Our agency is extremely sorry for this incident. Please inform me of how we can accordingly correct these mistakes. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Please be aware that problems with your company occurred repeatedly and involved significant violations of Wikitravel policy, and based on past behavior I unfortunately am skeptical of any change in your business practice. As a result, while you are welcome to build a case as to why it is important to include your company in this article, I personally do not think it will or should be removed from the blacklist. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:12, 28 January 2011 (EST)

Ryan - We were unaware of the former employee's online presence until our marketing team spotted the blacklist on Wikitravel. If there is any way that you would be able to reinstate our listing only on the 'Tours' section of North Korea, that would be wonderful, as that is the only place that I see an appropriate link to our website. We currently offer highly competitive rates for this rather special section of the travel industry and Wikitravel has been a vital part of receiving traffic to our website. As you can imagine, our jobs are becoming increasingly difficult because of the low season combined with the political situation on the Koren Peninsula. I cannot put enough emphasis on our sincere apology to the Wikitravel community, which I hope will be accepted with this appeal. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Since your company has been causing problems on WT for well over a year including repeated deletion of competitors, has a long history of flat out lying in edits and edit summaries (including no few from your current address), has ignored all previous attempts at communication, has used some painfully obvious sockpuppets above, and has already made attempts to work around the blacklist as recently as yesterday, I remain unconvinced. With that history, I personally can't see any reason to trust you now. -- D. Guillaime 15:12, 28 January 2011 (EST)

This is the general computer for our agency's Dandong office. Yesterday afternoon one of our marketing personell logged onto Wikitravel to see where our name was. You may also want to note that our Dandong office has made numerous edits on Wikitravel, coming from the Chinese IT person, of whom has also been relieved of duties, as well. The marketing personell used a domain name, as they diagnosed it was a problem, but did not see that we had been blacklisted until moments later. Please give us just one more chance. If anyone in our agency adds a link to our website or mentions our name in an inappropriate place of the website, please feel free to blacklist us once again. Please give us one more chance to make things right. At this moment, I see the only place that our link is necessary is in the 'Tours' section of North Korea. -- 22:19, 30 January 2011 (EST)

Hi, I recently travelled with "explore north korea tour group" and everything couldn't have been better. When I attempted to add them to wikitravel I found it was blocked. After reading through this I understand there have been some previous problems, however having met the operator I'm inclined to give her version of events the benefit of the doubt. Given not having your business listed on wikitravel hurts one's bottom line and their understanding that the China anything-goes approach to marketing doesn't fly on the wider online world I'd be inclined to allow them to list. At the end of the day the consumers are missing out on a cheap and reliable service so nobody wins. ---R jay 16:02, 14 August 2011 (UTC)


This article doesn't say anything about hotel facilities, toilet facilities or food safety. That is to my mind vital info for staying healthy in such a poorly developed country.

If you are worried about hotel standards and toilet facilities, you probably shouldn't be going to North Korea in the first place... Food info might be good, but not many travelers, let alone wikitravellers, have first hand experience --Stefan (sertmann) talk 10:36, 31 August 2010 (EDT)

Brutal Regime? That is just one sided. Also, it is important to recognize that it was approved by US and UK. History is not based on "We don't care idea"[edit]

I am deleting the brutal regime because that is just one sided and Wikipedia is not about putting your personal feeling. Thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Forced labor, banning native names, relocation of ancient artifacts, forced prostitution are brutal and exploitative, no matter what side you are looking from. Right, history is not based on "we don't care" idea, but why should travellers care—we just give an overview of the place (and it's important to give an idea why some Koreans might despise Japanese rule) but it's too fine grained information that the UK and US once recognized a regime that no longer exists. And this is not Wikipedia—we don't have to be neutral but instead we try to be fair and encourage lively writing. – Vidimian 22:39, 26 November 2010 (EST)

I have to disagree Texugo. The way you are expressing your opinion is very one sided. Have you ever heard of Hong Sa-ik? O Song-fa? Please do some research before adding information like this. If so, we must put that the Caucasian people have "BRUTALLY MASSACRED" the Aboriginal people in North and South America. We must write how the Native lands were "STOLEN" and the Caucasian race have killed Millions who tried to resist. The way this article is presented is very unprofessional and will give negative feelings towards Japan. Where is your source? I am very disappointed with Wikitravel and Wikipedia because seems like it is exploited with racist and biased people like yourself. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

The version as stands (which is clearly supported by both Texugo and Vidimian above, seems perfectly fair to me as well, as well as grammatically correct. If you have an issue with how other articles are written, please bring that up on the talk page corresponding to the article in question. --Peter Talk 17:17, 28 November 2010 (EST)

Young pioneer tours[edit]

We have a nascent edit war about whether some travelers consider this agency unreliable. I have no opinion about this, but an anonymous poster deleted the remark, calling it "invalid," a word with an unclear meaning (does that mean "inaccurate" or just somehow something s/he thinks shouldn't be said?) and then "unsorced[sic] comment of opinion," which is not a violation of Wikitravel policies, as no citations need to be given. However, one should be fair. So I open this up to all of you: Is it accurate to say that some travelers feel this tour is unreliable, to your knowledge, or is it inaccurate? Ikan Kekek 12:47, 17 May 2011 (EDT)

Per Wikitravel:Avoid negative reviews, if a company is poor then it shouldn't be included in the guide, but "some travelers feel this company is unreliable" seems wishy-washy enough that I didn't think the removal was unwarranted.
A separate issue is that this article now lists twenty different tour operators, and only two have any sort of description. Since the purpose of a travel guide is to help travelers make decisions I'd be tempted to remove anything without a description, but since North Korea requires an agency to arrange travel there isn't a clear policy to support making that change unilaterally - would anyone else support such an edit? -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:00, 17 May 2011 (EDT)
I'd somewhat cautiously and conditionally second it. As long as enough agencies with descriptions are listed so that travelers are served adequately, I'm OK with such deletions. Ikan Kekek 16:15, 17 May 2011 (EDT)

I traveled to the DPRK about two years ago and was very satisfied with Young Pioneer Tours. We received the same tour as the other groups, yet our tour cost a lot less money. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs) at about 02:48, 1 March 2013 (EST)

these warnings can apply to the usa as well[edit]

ive noticed this page has turned into a huge warning to people. i wish they would issue the same warnings for the usa. unfortunately, people fall into the usa fascist trap every day. for some reason, wikitravel warns about how the north korean govt monitors internet activity, but the usa also does this, and probably does so alot more efficiently as the cia has a black budget, and the usa not only monitors activity within the usa, but throughout the world. this is the first time ive seen someone compare 1984 to north korea, because people usually compare this to britain and the usa. isnt britain the country with the most cctv? how come no warning on the british travel page? as far as being careful with what you say, id like to see how fast you get tased to the ground if you said that bin laden was cool at an american airport. i like how they conveniently left out the part about the south korean govt not allowing its own citizens to visit the north. i guess this could be because south korea is a compliant, submissive pupet state of the u.s.. this page, like most other english websites is filled with biased propaganda.

I removed a bit of text that seemed preachy and out-of-place (below), but I think most of the article is written with the traveler in mind and the tours are very strongly regimented and controlled, so it is very important for people considering traveling here to know that these are serious matters.
Foreigners in any country praising national enemies will annoy and anger natives however, there are no legal consequences in the US if you were to say something nice about Bin Laden. You definitely will NOT be tazed for it, although at an airport you may be taken aside if you are prosyletizing.
The "They" you speak of is YOU, and everyone else who reads the article. If information is left out, it can always be added. If you'd like to propose some actual text changes, you could actually get support. The article could certainly be improved. ChubbyWimbus 01:37, 13 July 2011 (EDT)
you are right, the USA heavily monitors internet and their citizens, this is a proved fact. Actually it should be included in the USA article. BUT WHY are you writing this in here? This is a North korea article. It as NOTHING to do with USA.

Removed Some Irrelevant Text[edit]

I removed the following from the "Get in" section, because it doesn't seem relevant: "There are those who have called for a boycott on tourism to North Korea, due to human rights abuses in the country or how tourism may help finance the government. There is no official free enterprise activity in North Korea, and all tourist facilities are state-owned so the money goes directly to the government of North Korea. Others cite the possible benefits of Westerners engaging with North Korean citizens, particularly in a positive, friendly manner (i.e., contrary to the stereotypes of Westerners presented by internal propaganda); in practice, however, it is nearly impossible for a visitor to North Korea to have a spontaneous encounter of any kind with a citizen, as most activities of tourists are carefully planned and closely monitored. But regardless of political beliefs, North Korea is generally acknowledged to be a unique place to visit. Travellers must make up their own mind about the rights and wrongs of visiting this country.

Keep in mind that tourism in North Korea is not in a state comparable to any other country in the world. "

And I removed this "note" from the information bar: "Note: autonomous religious activities now almost nonexistent; government-sponsored religious groups exist to provide illusion of religious freedom

ChubbyWimbus 01:37, 13 July 2011 (EDT)

Chatterbox-tourists may end up in labour camps?[edit]

Under no circumstances whatsoever are you to say something that could be perceived as an insult to Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong-Un, Juche, or the North Korean people or government. You -- are likely to face serious trouble, -- you are likely to be sentenced to a stay in a local prison or labour camp, deported, and banned from re-entering.

Apparently is it an obvious fact that you can't openly criticise the NK government and leaders, or locals' overrespect towards them, but which foreign tourist has actually been jailed or sent to a labour camp because of that? I mean this sounds as pretty a wierd claim if you take into account that tourists are a desired source of income there. Also, I've removed "torture in the gulags", since the word 'gulag' is used wrongly in this case (it stands for the department which administered the camps in Soviet Union). - 11:56, 17 December 2011 (EST)

first, gulag may not be the word but the brutality is certainly worse then soviet gulags. Proved fact by several NGO's. Second, about "weird claim if you take into account that tourists are a desired source of income". REALLY?!? do you see ANYTHING in north korea that is NOT WEIRED? yes you WILL end up in a labour camp if you insult their lider. I would invite you to try but it seams there's no internet access in labour camps for you to tell us about it -.-

These warnings are very important. It's a very dangerous country if you don't STRICTLY FOLLOW ALL THE RULES. If you follow you'll be fine. If not, good luck because if you made something serious (AGAINST THEIR BELIEFS not ours) then we probably won't hear from you ever again.

I have not heard of people on the official tours run by North Korea being forced into labor camps, and for someone to take the time to get the visa to go to North Korea just to act like an idiot would almost justify whatever was done to them. The most well-known case of many people being taken by North Korea were the Japanese they abducted and forced to teach Japanese to North Korean officials/intelligence. Those were not tourists though and they were not even in North Korea when they were taken. I think abductions and disappearances are more likely to occur for those who attempt "independent travel". I think that statement is just something someone thinks is probable rather than a fact unless someone can provide some evidence to the contrary. ChubbyWimbus 00:39, 22 December 2011 (EST)

Yes, Forced Labor Camps in the DPRK have the same brutality as the Gulags, NONE


Listings of tour operators that do not have up-to-date websites and do not provide other evidence that they are currently operating will be deleted. --118dot93dot73dot30 13:30, 26 February 2013 (EST)

I know the list of tour operators has been in the article for quite some time but I think this should be reviewed now. No more new agencies should be listed as there are plenty already, but most offer travel to other destinations as well, so according to our policies should not be listed at all. I think is enough to say that travel here should be with an organised group, but the traveler can search for their own agency in their own country to book this. Any input? Adzas (talk) 07:44, 18 March 2018 (EDT)

Improper Notification on Page[edit]

The notification that the US and Canada do not want people to travel to North Korea does not belong on a website intended for international use. It should be removed or modified so that it only appears for IP addresses from the US. 04:26, 5 April 2014 (EDT)

Hello! Thanks for your remark. You are right, the best way would be to display different data depending where do you come from, although this system wouldn't be satisfying either in the case of a US/Canada citizen travelling and therefore checking Wikitravel from abroad, or a non-US/Canada citizen being in the US/Canada at the moment they browse NK here....

You are totally right: Wikitravel is intended to be universal. The whole Wikitravel, which encompasses this version in English, and the Russian one, and the Spanish one, and Chinese etc. That's why it is said "the US/Canadian staff informs you you shouldn't go there", instead of "You shouldn't go there."I mean, it's, as a matter of fact, the truth. You acknowledge it, whatever the country you are coming from, and then you decide or not to go there. And next time, for another country, you may read "French and British ministers say it's dangerous", and it would be exactly the same. There is no "US point of view" here. Hope this helped, otherwise, feel free to ask. PierrB (talk) 10:42, 5 April 2014 (EDT)

North Korea really is totally not a tourist destination.[edit]

I really don't get it as to why anyone would even want to visit North Korea. A vacation in North Korea is like a vacation in a dirty, bug-infested supermaximum security prison. There is totally no freedom to explore and mingle; all tourism is controlled by a guided tour that is essentially an exact carbon copy of prison transport. Accomodations in North Korea are, I am very sure, extremely terrible, even to the point of making the most run-down, slummy, ghettoey motels in America look like a palace in comparison, and complaining about the bad quality water, mold, cockroaches/bugs, electricity turned off at a certain hour of the night, leaving you in total darkness, and such would easily get you locked up in one of those really horrible and really filthy gulags; anyone who has read the book "Escape from Camp 14" I am sure has seen descriptions of people in those gulags eating diseased live rats, picking and eating pieces of corn out of stinky, yuckey feces, dirty filthy water, no showers, extreme starvation, lack of sleep for days on end, and so much more. Not to mention having to bow to portraits, statues, and idols of the two horrible tyrants that made North Korea truthfully more prison than country. Alpha1 (talk) 21:45, 30 August 2015 (EDT)

"Will therefore be required to obtain a visa from their nearest embassy or consulate"[edit]

Usually one can obtain visa for a particular country at any embassy or consulate, not just the nearest. Isn't this true for the US as well? This is particularly important if one does not travel from his home country but e.g. from another country on the American continent. Rbakels (talk) 01:29, 9 December 2019 (EST)