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.
Updated: 9th February 2024
Further updates on the North Korean border opening will be posted here.
For our plan for North Korean tours (depending on reopening) in 2024, click here.
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.
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.
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 on by humanitarian aid workers etc.
A North Korean Taekwondo team was sent from Pyongyang to Kazakhstan to take part in the Taekwondo World Championships. They were featured in the opening ceremony and made their way to Kazakhstan by taking a train from the DPRK into China, staying in Beijing, and then going on to Kazakhstan.
This is the first sports delegation sent out of the DPRK since 2019 and they would not be sent if they were not able to return afterwards.
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.
No official date has been given. Nevertheless, the general consensus from multiple sources (all of them North Korean) is that it will be “soon”.
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 three and a half years now.
Anyone who was not in the DPRK when the borders closed has not been able to return. So, workers, students, businesspeople, diplomats, and all kinds of folks who were in China and elsewhere are still outside of the country and are no doubt keen to see their own families again. This is a chance for them to finally do so.
The opening of the North Korean border is currently for North Koreans, but we expect this to be expanded soon afterwards. Initially, this will likely be for important incoming figures such as diplomats and NGO staff, etc. Eventually, tourists will follow.
However, when this will be we do not know.
Flights between Pyongyang and China are expected to resume very shortly for North Korean nationals. UPDATE: they have started. he first flight to Beijing, and scheduled flights from Vladivostok for North Koreans to return home.
The train from Dandong to Pyongyang will be operating normally soon.