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The Forbidden Railway - a train trip to Pyongyang

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I recommend a look at this blog which covers a fascinating train trip the author took from Western Europe through Russia to the Pacific coast and then into North Korea via a train line not usually available to tourists. He took 100s if not 1000s of photos and got some photos of parts of North Korea not seen before.

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Oh I would absolutely love to take a trip like that, but no, that blog isn't mine. An American citizen, such as myself, would have to be pretty brave and maybe pretty stupid to attempt a trip like that to N. Korea these days. However I have heard that if you follow regular procedures, the N. Koreans are happy to have average American tourists, in general, because it gives them propaganda opportunities and of course they want the foreign money, especially the US dollar. Visitors have required daily spending amounts that go to the required guides and drivers and certain other items. If you work for the media, US government, or hold dual citizenship with S. Korea, they probably won't let you in.

In any case North Korea is currently not issuing visas to Americans right now except for one event that takes place in August called the mass games. You can apply for a spot and they will let you know if you can go or not. They will let 20 Americans in and they are handled by a separate process from everyone else in the world. The mass games are a huge propaganda event put on once/year by the N. Korean government and you might get more access to things not normally seen by anyone else on a regular tourist visa. It's pretty complicated because as there are no diplomatic relations between N. Korea and the USA, you have to arrange travel through Beijing, get a double entry visa from the Chinese, and I am not even sure how you arrange the N. Korean visa part. Maybe via the N. Korean delegation at the UN in NYC. Also remember there are no USA embassies in N. Korea. If for some reason you need these kind of services you are kinda out of luck unless you can get help from the Swedish embassy there who might help.

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