North Korea freezes tourist visa applications until September

North Korea has banned all foreign tourists from visiting its capital Pyongyang in a shock move by the nation’s leader Kim Jong-un.

It was not given a reason for the freeze, the company said, but was told it would apply until the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on Sept 9. Officials in Pyongyang are believed to be planning a major military parade through the capital’s streets to celebrate the anniversary.

Tourists take photos outside the Children's Palace in Pyongyang, on July 2018.


Uri Tours – which organises trips to North Korea – believes the temporary ban on tourists was imposed to free up resources before the parade.

A spokesman said: “Large numbers of tourists, journalists and VIP delegations are expected to visit Pyongyang for the September 9 festivities.

“We’ve been advised this temporary freeze will provide breathing space to tourism resources such as hotels in preparation for this increased demand.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has reportedly been invited to the event, although it unknown whether he plans to attend.


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