No Entry to SK Goods, Chinese Agents Warned

The North Korean authorities have told Chinese travel
agencies dealing in tours to the North to ensure that tourists do not carry in items manufactured in South Korea, sources have conveyed to Daily NK. They have also warned against possession of certain types of recording equipment.

Requesting anonymity, a travel agent based in the city of Dandong, which lies on the border with North Korea, told Daily NK on the 12th that “Chosun tourism officials have been really friendly this year. But they’ve now demanded that we watch out for political magazines or documents with Korean writing on.”

A second travel agent based further along the border in Jilin Province confirmed, “Someone
from the Chosun [North Korea] side came directly to us and requested that we carry
out inspections to ensure tourists are not carrying South Korean products. They also made it clear that high-quality video recording equipment should not be taken into Chosun.”

“They further emphasized that tourists are not to do anything to break the rules, such as talking to local people about ‘strange’ topics. They also strongly made the point that anyone working for a newspaper company is not to enter the
country,” the second travel agent continued.

However, the agent stressed that while South Korean items were
strictly forbidden, “There is no particular problem when it comes to bringing in
Chinese mobile phones or tablets.”

On this point, one diplomatic source told Daily NK, “The
North is setting up private car and bicycle tours and areas of accommodation; it’s all aimed at tourists and that is because they want to earn dollars and yuan. But that means the likelihood of contact with locals can
only increase. The regime has anticipated the possibility of resistance if they don’t allow other foreign items to be brought in, so it
seems they’ve decided to try and prevent the influx of South Korean goods only.”

“Kim Jong Eun is actively bolstering the tourism industry as
a source of foreign currency, including the establishment of a tourism university in
Pyongyang,”  the source continued. “But the regime is also reacting sensitively to the ‘Korean Wave,’ which is still growing among the people.”

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