Oh it just seems like yesterday that North Korea closed for 5 months over Ebola! It wasn’t yesterday, it was 5 years ago, yesterday was when they closed down the borders over the new virus in China, or as the cool kids call it Coronavirus. The timing being just before we (YPT) had a massive tour entering North Korea.
Aside from the rather piss poor timing for North Korea tours, there’s a whole other scary element in that it happens to coincide with the biggest mass movement of people on the planet, Chinese new year. Lots of people moving, whilst there’s a killing virus that gets transmitted human to human…..
The official stance of the authorities in Pyongyang is that the ban on tourists entering the country will come to an end once the Chinese have the virus under control. I’ll make zero comment on my confidence in that.
The scary thing, or rather one of the many scary things is the similarities people are seeing with the SARS virus, which although it fizzled out, was not exactly fun for a while.
And then there was Ebola, during that outbreak North Korea shut up shop for almost 5 months, 5 months of no tours, but i guess no ebola in north korea, so in some respects the ends justified the means (i guess).
So, as things stand best case scenario China get their shit in order, the virus gets contained, and tours resume. Worst case? It’s World War Z, and we all know how that shit turned out. It wasn’t pretty.
When will North Korea open to tourism again? That is a very good question…