North Korea Borders
Opening Updates
(May 2024)

Updates on North Korea border openings. After borders tightly shut for the past 4 years, North Korea's borders look finally set to open once again.

North Korea Borders Opening Updates
Last Updated: May 2024

Updated: 27th May 2024

As the leaders in North Korean travel operating in North Korea for over 30 years, we aim to keep you as updated as possible when it comes to North Korean tourism.

This page is kept constantly updated when there are new updates regarding the North Korean border and North Korean border openings.

For our plan for North Korean tours (depending on reopening) in 2024, click here.

Feel free to skip to the relevant area below. You can also find an FAQ section at the bottom. 

North Korean Border Updates Table of Contents

North Korea Border Opening Updates (Timeline)
North Korean Borders Opening FAQs

Parade North Korea

North Korea Border Opening UPDATES

Timescale of North Korean border opening updates. 
Thursday 16th May - Tuesday 21st May (2024)

Our Tour Leader Ian who led many Koryo Tours tours before the border closure visited the DPRK on a business trip with Choson Exchange.

See here for exclusive images of his trip
Monday 15th April (2024) 

We have maintained our Beijing Office throughout the last 4 years and regularly met with the China representative of our Korean partner company (KITC). On 15th April Greg returned as Chief Representative at the Beijing Office and together with our Chinese colleagues he is waiting and preparing for the DPRK borders to reopen. 

Thursday 11th April (2024) - Thursday 25th April (2024) 

The 33rd April Spring Friendship Art Festival took place in Pyongyang with guest performes from various countries, including Russia, China, Mongolia, Laos, Belarus, Brazil, and Korean Residents of Japan, China, Russia.

Thursday 11th April (2024) - Thursday 18th April (2024) 

Delegates of Juche idea study groups from all over the World visited Pyongyang for an international seminar on the Juche idea arranged by the International Institute of the Juche Idea and the Korean Association of Social Scientists around the date of the 112th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung.

March (2024)

Long time ethnic Chinese residents of the DPRK (hwagyo) returned to North Korea for the first time since they left in 2020, NK News reported

Sunday 10th March (2024) 

A couple more groups of Russian visitors have been confirmed to go to North Korea.

Still no opening to normal tourism - but maybe a positive sign for everyone else?

NKNews reports on the latest developments.

February (2024)

A German delegation visited Pyongyang to inspect the German Embassy building. The delegation also met with local officials and Chinese Embassy staff.

Friday 9th February (2024)

The first group of 'tourists' arrived in Pyongyang after 4+ years of the borders being closed to visitors.

This is a special Russian group going on a ski trip. Not quite a normal tourist trip due to links between military cooperation between the two states making this trip possible. Thus, outside of anything like normal tourism process.

Al Jazeera reports here.

Thursday 11th January (2024)

It is confirmed from within Pyongyang that a group of Russian tourists will be the first to enter the country for more than 4 years in February.

This is on a tour that just includes a day in Pyongyang and then some skiing at Masik-Ryong.

This is a special trip arranged via an agreement between the administration of the Russian Far Eastern province of Primorskiy Krai and the DPRK government. It may signal an opening in due course to other tourists, or may not. We wait and see!

NKNews reports on this story here.

December (2023)

The new Mongolian Ambassador and the other embassy staff arrived in Pyongyang. According to NK News, Mongolia is the third country after China and Russia that was allowed to rotate embassy staff since COVID-19 border closures in 2020.

Autumn (2023)

Various Russian delegations visited the DPRK throughout the autumn in 2023.

Tuesday, 26th September (2023)

China's news outlet CCTV made an announcement that foreigners would be let into North Korea on 25th September.

The announcement was made saying that it had been announced by North Korea. However, there has not been any confirmation from North Korea yet.

Nevertheless, if the rumours are true, then tourism is still a long way off. The first foreigners to go into North Korea will be those with the highest priority.

This includes people like diplomats initially, followed by humanitarian aid workers etc. 

You can find an updated report here

Tuesday, August 22nd (2023)

First Air Koryo flight from Pyongyang to Beijing since the shutdown takes place.

Reopening a crucial route which has been out of use since January 2020. Not a flight for tourists, but for North Koreans to finally return home after years stuck overseas. A positive sign for the resumption of this route going forward.

Thursday, 10th August (2023)

Koryo Tours received the news on the 10th of August that North Korea (the DPRK) is expected to officially open its border again very soon.

This is the first time since it closed back in January 2020 to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

North Korean Border Opening FAQs 

Have the North Korean borders opened?

Short answer, no. Long answer, kind of starting to. But they are currently not open to pre-COVID levels. 

Has North Korean Tourism Resumed?

No, not fully to all nationalities and to pre-COVID levels. 

The visit of the six Russian tour groups that traveled to the country since February this year was a result of an inter-government agreement between the DPRK and the government of Primorsky Krai in the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia.

As the leading North Korean travel company, we will be updating people as soon as we have news on North Korea opening to tourism. 

Make sure to follow us on our social media channels where we will be updating people as soon as we have confirmation. 

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

When Will the North Korean Borders Open?

No official date has been given.

Nevertheless, the consensus from multiple sources (all of them North Korean) is that it will be “soon”.

Who Are the North Korean Borders Open to?

Initially, the opening of the North Korean border is for North Korean citizens only.

While the closure of North Korea has affected companies like ours, and anyone wanting to visit and engage with the country, it has been far more disruptive and difficult for the many thousands of North Koreans trapped outside of their home country for more than four years now.

Since late August 2023, North Korean workers, students, businesspeople, diplomats, and all kinds of folks who were in China and elsewhere have had permission to return (NB: even North Korean passport holders need an entry permit, quasi a visa). This is an ongoing process, many others still have not beeb able to return and speaking to our Korean colleagues based overseas are keen to see their families again.

Since the opening of the borders to North Koreans, some foreigners were also able to visit Korea but these are rather an exemption than a rule and were the guests of the state or organizations closley related to it.

When Will the Borders Open for Tourists?

The opening of the North Korean border is currently for North Koreans, and foreign visitors invited by the state; tourist visas are still not being issued, but we expect this to be expanded soon.

However, when this will be we do not know.

Are North Korea International Flights Running?

Flights between Pyongyang and China (Beijing, Shenyang) as well as Pyongyang and Russia (Vladivostok) have now resumed and run on a more or less regular basis.

Is the North Korea Train Running?
(China, Dandong - Pyongyang)

The train from Dandong to Pyongyang is not operating on a regular schedule. 

You have North Korean Tours on Your Website. Does this mean we can book them? 

No. We have kept all our North Korean tours on our website since 2020 and those who are interested can sign up but this will not result in a confirmed booking. This is only available so that when the country reopens we can contact people individually based on their specific interest in a particular tour. 

However, we make it very clear on our North Korean tour page that these tours are currently not confirmed. 

Koryo Tours
North Korea Tours

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Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100027, PR China

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