Death of North Korean leader may prompt restart of limited tours
The death of the North Korean leader Kim Jong II may lead to limited tours from South Korea restarting to designated areas in 2012, a spokesman for the Korea Tourism Organisation suspects. Although this is “not a Berlin Wall moment” for tourism, a younger leader may signal that he wants a more relaxed approach to foreign visitors coming from the south. As a consequence, access to tourist zones such as the Geumgangsan Mountains in the east and the border city of Gaeseong may open up again from South Korea, three years after an incident in which a tourist who strayed from official areas was shot dead by soldiers.
“There is a possibility that a younger leader coming in may well want to be closer to his South Korea neighbour, but getting any kind of impression from them is difficult,” Rami Salemah, the tourism organisation’s spokesman in London, said.
[pictured: Gaeseong city centre; courtesy Btxtsf]