DPRK eases China travel

According to the Daily NK:

A source has reported that the North Korean authorities are allowing ordinary people to visit China again, while claiming it as an example of “Kim Jong Eun’s consideration” for the people.

A lengthy ban on cross border visits was imposed in late August to cover the anniversary of the regime founding on September 9th, Party Delegates’ Conference on September 28th and anniversary of the Workers’ Party founding on October 10th. This has now been lifted.

The source said, “Visiting relatives in China has been allowed since the 5th.“ According to his explanation, the propaganda department of provincial committees of the Party held a lecture on the 5th targeting those requesting permits to visit China so as to educate them on things to keep in mind. During which, a cadre in one lecture reportedly claimed, “Thanks to the consideration of Comrade Youth Captain, private tours to China are to be allowed, and in future will progress in the form of state business.”

The National Security Agency is responsible for preparatory lectures for would-be North Korean tourists; the NSA makes them sign an oath not to reveal any national secrets, not to have any connection with South Koreans or Chinese religious organizations in China, and to submit items that they cannot bring back into North Korea.

However, the source sought to emphasize, “The propaganda department of the Party has carried this out this time in an attempt to let the North Korean tourists know that it is part of “Kim Jong Eun’s consideration.”

Additionally, the source said that the lecturing cadres were keen to encourage tourists to “receive actively and willingly help from Chinese relatives” and told them “there is no limit, so bring as many products and as much money as you want.” However, there was one limitation, “You should not meet South Chosun people or bring South Chosun products.”

The source added also, “The department demanded that would-be tourists offer donations,” saying, “Since the Comrade Youth Captain has done you a special favor, it is reasonable for you to prepare the necessary goods for local kindergartens, schools or other social facilities.”

Interestingly, the process of issuing passports, visas and permits has apparently been significantly quickened.

Normally, when a North Korean who has relatives in China submits an application form to a municipal or provincial office of the National Security Agency, the application goes to Pyongyang NSA via the foreign affairs section in each city or province. The NSA confirms that the applicant has relatives in China through the Chinese authorities, and then the authorities issue permits and visas.

Going through the whole process generally takes between three and six months. Of course, bribes are needed to keep an application moving along, and the process can be expedited depending on the value of the bribe.

However, this time the process, from submitting the application form to receiving the permit, is only 15 to 20 days.

Looking at the situation, the source added wryly, “Since the authorities are encouraging people to take trips to China and therefore tourist numbers will increase, cadres in foreign affairs sections of the local NSA will be in a favorable situation.”

Read the full article here:
North Korean Tourists Back in China
Daily NK
Im Jeong Jin


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