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Old 12-01-2012, 06:16 PM
 
Location: World
3,648 posts, read 3,517,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Saudi Arabia -- at least you're free to leave.
Freedom to live is bigger then freedom to leave. Cowards leave their country.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,169,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munna21977 View Post
Freedom to live is bigger then freedom to leave. Cowards leave their country.
Oh, OK.

Freedom to leave is freedom to live. If you have one, you have both. If you can't leave, you have neither.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,528 posts, read 47,687,050 times
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Here's a real eye opener about North Korea that everyone should know about.
North Korean prisoner escaped after 23 brutal years - CBS News
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:02 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munna21977 View Post
Which country has more freedom-Saudi Arabia or North Korea? Yet we are big friends with Saudi arabia and hate North Korea.
The people running Saudi Arabia aren't bat sh*t crazy though.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
2,214 posts, read 2,631,159 times
Reputation: 2090
Hey there,

I have been do DPRK this year and I was highly impressed by this country. Not really impressed in a way most people expect from their vacation but somehow very interesting. To me, the journey was highly emotional and touching, I have seen a lot of the countryside most visitory won't see including beautiful landscapes, farms, factories, beaches,... people were very friendly but also very shy. You could see little childrens and even army people smiling and waving. Economy is certainly improving in very very little steps and living conditions for the residents of the capital Pyongyang improved over the last years. However, the country is still very poor and the political system brutal and terrible.

I can highly recommend a trip to DPRK, as tourism may be a possibility to get in contact with people from this country over the while. Currently, no real contacts between visitors and local people are possible, however with more and more tourists coming (DPRK wants to boost tourism by 2-3 times), more and more foreigners will have an insight of the country and local people see more and more foreigners. They will learn, people from other countriers are not evil and staff in hotels, restaurants, tourist guides and other people will contribute to an opening of the country. Honestly, I have seen so many friendly, beautiful and intelligent people who really deserve a better life.

Summarized a trip is absolutely not dangerous for visitors, in our group we also had some US citizens without any problems. Border soldiers were friendly and reasonable.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:32 PM
JL
 
7,351 posts, read 11,877,440 times
Reputation: 7198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Dakota View Post
Hey there,

I have been do DPRK this year and I was highly impressed by this country. Not really impressed in a way most people expect from their vacation but somehow very interesting. To me, the journey was highly emotional and touching, I have seen a lot of the countryside most visitory won't see including beautiful landscapes, farms, factories, beaches,... people were very friendly but also very shy. You could see little childrens and even army people smiling and waving. Economy is certainly improving in very very little steps and living conditions for the residents of the capital Pyongyang improved over the last years. However, the country is still very poor and the political system brutal and terrible.

I can highly recommend a trip to DPRK, as tourism may be a possibility to get in contact with people from this country over the while. Currently, no real contacts between visitors and local people are possible, however with more and more tourists coming (DPRK wants to boost tourism by 2-3 times), more and more foreigners will have an insight of the country and local people see more and more foreigners. They will learn, people from other countriers are not evil and staff in hotels, restaurants, tourist guides and other people will contribute to an opening of the country. Honestly, I have seen so many friendly, beautiful and intelligent people who really deserve a better life.

Summarized a trip is absolutely not dangerous for visitors, in our group we also had some US citizens without any problems. Border soldiers were friendly and reasonable.
Thanks for the report...did you go through the Beijing tour? Also, how long did it take for your visa to get approved? What about U.S citizens who were born in S. Korea? How hard would it be for someone in that situation to be granted a visa for entry in DPRK?
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
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Yes I took Air Koryo flight from Beijing, it was a great flight. Air Koryo was rated as worlds worst airline in Skytrax, which I can absolutely not understand. Maybe they just can't complain... I got a free hot meal on a 1:20h flight and the cabin attendants were very friendly and charming. Airplane was old but very well maintained and in very good condition (as I am an aviation enthusiast, I love flying on old planes however).

I ordered the visa at the travel agent who organized the tour, he did all the application stuff with his contacts in Beijing togehter with all other documents, hotels,.... I don't know about any obstacles for US citizens born in the South, you may find some more information on the travel agencys website or contact them directly: Hints and Tips
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:01 PM
JL
 
7,351 posts, read 11,877,440 times
Reputation: 7198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Dakota View Post
Yes I took Air Koryo flight from Beijing, it was a great flight. Air Koryo was rated as worlds worst airline in Skytrax, which I can absolutely not understand. Maybe they just can't complain... I got a free hot meal on a 1:20h flight and the cabin attendants were very friendly and charming. Airplane was old but very well maintained and in very good condition (as I am an aviation enthusiast, I love flying on old planes however).

I ordered the visa at the travel agent who organized the tour, he did all the application stuff with his contacts in Beijing togehter with all other documents, hotels,.... I don't know about any obstacles for US citizens born in the South, you may find some more information on the travel agencys website or contact them directly: Hints and Tips

Maybe safety?

I've read where in this situation that quite a few were denied visas...then again i guess it depends on a case by case basis.
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
2,214 posts, read 2,631,159 times
Reputation: 2090
Safety may be a factor, however they had no fatalities since 1983. We had some aircraft mechanics on our tour who (without having a closer look to engines etc.) never felt insecure on board, as far as we could see, aircrafts were in very good shape, even sometimes 40 years old. (Deltas DC-9 were also built from 1967 on). I personally think soft factors such as no frequent flyer program, no airport lounges etc. may play a role, however a large share of the bad attitude towards Air Koryo may be just because they are North Korean, so they have to be bad. I guess not many Skytrax voters have ever flown on them.
I have flown on many Airlines including some Russian, Cubana, or former Soviet states such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan or Kirgistan. Compared to them, Air Koryo was a pretty good airline - no 5-star of course - but maybe at least 2 or 3 star.

Quote:
I've read where in this situation that quite a few were denied visas...then again i guess it depends on a case by case basis.
As far as I know, until 2009 or 2010, US citizen were only granted visa during Arirang mass games but they recently want to boost tourism from about 20.000 (with a majority of Chinese tourists) to more than 100.000 per year. It probably also depends on your plans, individual tours may have more problems than group tours with 20 or more people with many different nationalities.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:16 AM
 
1,862 posts, read 3,002,119 times
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I would like to visit the DPRK but will most likely wait until they permit Americans to take the train from Beijing to Pyongyang. I've seen into the DPRK while traveling in Northeast China and it looks beautiful, especially in autumn with the leaves. Lots of mountains too.
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