Chinese travel agencies’ North Korea tour packages slump

It’s been two months since the UN imposed
stricter economic sanctions on North Korea. China traditionally has been reluctant about
pressuring the North. But it seems China may have now fallen in line with the international
community. Hwang Hojun has the details. Is long-time ally China now turning its back
on its hermit neighbor? Less than two months since the UN imposed
strong economic sanctions on North Korea, Chinese tourism to the North has fallen significantly.
North Korea’s fourth nuclear test in January and continued belligerent acts have come at
the cost of the regime’s cash flow, especially after China pledged to carry out the UN sanctions. “As a permanent member of the U.N. Security
Council, China fully and comprehensively implements relevant Security Council resolutions.” And now, Chinese travel agencies that once
provided North Korean tour packages are seeing the impact. “Recent years there is not a lot of Chinese
tourists go to North Korea.” According to major travel agencies in China,
45 out of 52 agencies allegedly scrapped their North Korean tour packages. Experts in Korea say Beijing’s stricter policy
towards Pyongyang has affected the Chinese people’s perception of North Korea. ed: rosyn
“Still being a communist society, China’s foreign policies are filtered through party
officers and the elites of society. This in turn influences public perception, whether
direct or indirect.” However, it may be too soon to assume China
has completely turned away from its frenemy. When calling some of the travel agencies pretending
to be a prospective tourist, “You can go into North Korea. It’s not a problem.” Canceled tour packages were suddenly an option
again. Hwang Hojun, Arirang News

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