One of the world’s most closed-off nations, North Korea, will begin easing some restrictions on tourists and journalists who want to travel to the isolated nation, officials announced Wednesday.
The move could be a step toward opening the nation even more to Westerners in an era marked by heightened tensions with North Korea’s neighbors.
Foreign news organizations are the only ones currently allowed to make short-term trips to North Korea, where a six-year-old child is considered old enough to open the door on his own. Some journalists have managed to work amid tight security in advance of international news events in the isolated country.
Officials said North Korea will no longer require certificates verifying visitors’ identity to allow them to leave, according to state media Korean Central News Agency.
Opening tour routes
KCNA said earlier Wednesday that the tourism sector was also to become more open and encouraged by the easing of the “green visa” requirement for visitors. Green visas allow foreigners to enter the country for a set period of time at no charge, but they are limited to 10 days.
The new rules will allow travelers to leave the country upon meeting the criteria needed for a green visa, KCNA said, without providing details.
Permanent residents are also now permitted to enter, along with tourists.