Last updated: 02:45 PM ET, Tue July 12 2016

North Korea Allows Chinese Tourists to Visit Passport-Free

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | July 12, 2016

North Korea Allows Chinese Tourists to Visit Passport-Free

PHOTO: Pyongyang (courtesy Thinkstock)

North Korea is now allowing Chinese tourists to visit passport free if they are on a half-day tour, according to an article in Reuters. The article states that Chinese state media reported the changes to the regulation on Monday, as the country seeks more sources of foreign currency after a recent wave of international sanctions.

The visits, which began on Saturday, according to Reuters, allow Chinese tourists to travel from the border city of Dandong to the North Korean city of Sinuju, within a "designated zone" of 30,000 square meters (7.4 acres). 

Visitors must travel on a particular tourism package, and they must pay a fee of $52. There are already plans for expansion to the area allowed for visitation from 30,000 square meters currently to 130,000 square meters in the future. This will allow more than 10,000 Chinese tourists to visit per day, during peak times. Already, more than 1,000 visitors have applied for permits, according to India Express.

According to Reuters, international experts believe sanctions, which have targeted North Korea's banking sector as well as its shipping and trade in natural resources, have made it tougher for the North to earn foreign currency. 

An influx in tourism will definitely help to alleviate North Korea's quest for foreign currency, so might we see more expansion to these passport regulations in the future? 

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