April 13, 2010 11:25
The first tour groups from across China started off on their way to North Korea on Monday. China has organized group tours of North Korea since 1988, but they were available only to provinces bordering the North such as Liaoning and Jilin.
But on Monday, a group of 395 Chinese tourists left for North Korea by air or train from Beijing, Shenyang and Dandong, the China National Tourism Administration said. They will gather in Pyongyang before starting an eight-day tour of tourist spots in the capital like the Kim Il-sung statue and Mansudae, as well as Kaesong, Panmunjom, Mt. Myohyang and Nampo.
Mt. Kumgang is not included in their itinerary, despite threats by the North to find another partner for visits to the scenic resorts. South Korea declined to resume tours there in the wake of the fatal shooting of a tourist in 2008 unless the safety of travelers is guaranteed.
However, some Chinese travel agents are offering tour programs that include Mt. Kumgang.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com