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Russian tourists to visit north korea as borders reopen – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Russian tourists are set to become the first international travelers to visit North Korea since the country closed its borders in 2020 due to the global pandemic. This news comes as a result of the growing cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang, following the meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin last September.
According to a report from the Russian state-run Tass news agency, tourists from Russia‘s Primorye region will fly to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. There, they will visit landmarks such as the “Tower of Juche Idea,” which is named after the North’s guiding philosophy of self-reliance. The tourists will then proceed to the country’s modern ski resort located in Masik Pass on the east coast. This trip has been arranged through an agreement between Oleg Kozhemyako, the governor of the Primorye region, and North Korean authorities. Kozhemyako had traveled to Pyongyang in December to discuss various areas of cooperation, including tourism and trade.
It is worth noting that this development has surprised observers in Asia who had expected China, North Korea’s biggest ally and economic partner, to be the first to send tourists to the country once the pandemic restrictions were lifted.
The summit between Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin has sparked speculations about the possibility of North Korea supplying conventional arms to Russia for its conflict in Ukraine, in exchange for advanced Russian weapons technology. The White House recently claimed to have evidence that Russia fired additional North Korea-provided missiles at Ukraine, leading to a joint statement of condemnation from the United States, South Korea, Japan, and other countries.
Both North Korea and Russia are currently engaged in separate confrontations with the United States and its allies. North Korea faces challenges due to its advancing nuclear program, while Russia is dealing with the ongoing war in Ukraine. As a result, the reopening of North Korea’s borders and the resumption of tourism are seen as steps toward revitalizing the country’s economy, which has been severely impacted by the pandemic and international sanctions.
Experts believe that tourism is a crucial means for North Korea to earn foreign currency under the existing sanctions regime. While Russian tourists may not contribute as much financially as Chinese tourists, their visit holds symbolic value and aligns with Pyongyang’s current geopolitical narrative. It is expected that North Korea will eventually open its borders to Chinese tourists as well.
In conclusion, the arrival of Russian tourists in North Korea marks the first international travel to the country since the pandemic-induced border closures. This development underscores the deepening cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang and serves as a step towards reviving North Korea’s economy.





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