NORTH KOREA FROM A NEAR DISTANCE

See all the key inter-Korean sites, meet key people working on DPRK issues, and be accompanied by leading specialists.

Leveraging their unique perspectives on all things DPRK, NK News and Koryo Tours' manager Gergő Váczi are proud to present the inaugural North Korea From a Distance tour.

With North Korea closed for tourism for over two years due to COVID-19 – and no certainty about when visits can resume– this itinerary is designed for anyone wanting to see and learn more about the DPRK.

 Featuring a combination of border-location tours, briefings and Q&As, the North Korea From a Distance tour provides a sharpening your interest in all things Korea – and exclusive opportunities to cultivate new connections within the North Korea-watching community.

EAST COAST TRIP

With two nights on the East Coast, you'll go right to the border with North Korea and see its stunning Kumgang mountain range. An array of border walks, museum visits and a village tour will give in-depth context about Gangwon province and its close ties to the DPRK.

Ready to book?

© Copyright 2022

Date: Sept. 23 - Oct. 2, 2022
For: Anyone with a deep interest in North Korea
Presented by: NK News and Koryo Tours' manager Gergő Váczi
Produced by: Semin International Tour Co. Ltd

New year, new approach: 
What's next for DPRK affairs in 2020?

Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Time: 9.00am-3.30pm (lunch and coffee will be served)
For: Government, Business & Media Professionals
Venue: Park Hyatt Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Pick-up after winter with the latest on-the-ground views & specialist insights on DPRK

EXPLORE THE KOREAN BORDER WITH LEADING SPECIALISTS

SEP 23-OCT 2, 2022

ACCOMPANIED BY SPECIALISTS

DAILY MEETINGS WITH EXPERTS

On every full day of the itinerary, you can look forward to at least one meeting or lunch/dinner briefing from an outside North Korea specialist based in Seoul. Take in a diverse range of perspectives and ask all the questions which come to mind.
Over the week, you'll be accompanied by  Chad O'Carroll (NK News founder and CEO) and Gergő Váczi (Koryo Tours). Guest experts will join for multi-day portions of the door, such as Andrei Lankov, a former ROK general, and others.
You'll have two days in Seoul with visits to key museums, political sites, and even mountain hikes around the Blue House. You'll also get a chance to meet the NK News team and learn first-hand how news on North Korea is written and produced.

WESTERN ISLANDS/COAST TRIP

Take a ferry to spend a night on Yeonpyeong island, just seven miles from North Korea, and scour the beaches for items found from DPRK.  Then, in Ganghwa, you'll get a chance to observe several North Korean villages and hamlets from close up.

CENTRAL BORDER TRIP

Dependent on whether or not the Joint Security Area (JSA) of the DMZ opens up to tourists by September, you'll either visit it or Cheorwon - a county located in the central inter-Korean area where a former Workers' Party of Korea building still stands. 

Itinerary features:

Apply to attend

ADDITIONAL NOTES

- Groups will be in the experienced hands of local guides and Koryo Tours manager Gergő Váczi. 

- Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above.

- Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed.\

- We will also add in extras when there is time.

- After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Presented by:

NORTH KOREA IN SEOUL

  • Recommended latest arrival in Seoul (AM)
  • Check-in at hotel in Seoul (from 2PM)
  • Welcome dinner and orientation

Overnight: 
Ibis Ambassador Insadong Seoul

New year, new approach: 
What's next for DPRK affairs in 2020?

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN SEOUL

ACCOMPANYING SPECIALIST GUIDES:

FRI. SEPT 23:

New year, new approach: 
What's next for DPRK affairs in 2020?

DAY 2: SOKCHO, GANGWON PROVINCE

SAT. SEPT 24:

  • Drive to East Coast | A 3-4 hour ride from Seoul to Sokcho, approx. the same time from Pyongyang to Wonsan in the DPRK.

  • Unification Park | Where the North Korean Sang-O class submarine used in the failed 1996 Gangneung infiltration is located.
  • Lunch & Check-in | Eat and then drop bags off at the Ramada Plaza Hotel Sokcho.

  • Razor-wire beach walk | See the East Coast beach fences and military guard posts designed to keep North Korean infiltrators out.
  • Dinner and briefing | Back at the hotel we'll get dinner and you'll take part in the first expert discussion of the itinerary.

  • Overnight:
    Ramada Plaza Hotel Sokcho

DAY 3: GOSEONG, GANGWON PROVINCE

SUN. SEPT 25:

  • Drive to Goseong | An approx. 1 hour drive North to the inter-Korean area of Goseong County.

  • North Korea gift shop | Buy real 'Made in DPRK' items like liquor and official North Korean currency at a shop in the security area.
  • Unification observatory | Stunning views of North Korea's Kumgang mountain and adjacent beaches.

  • Lunch and free-time | Free time for lunch at the Tongil Security Park area, which includes exhibitions and shops.
  • Kim Il Sung beach house Tour the former North Korean president's summer house, which was lost when Korean borders changed during the 50-53 war.

  • Treasure hunt for North Korean debris | Search for washed up trash from DPRK and see which products are currently 'hot' in the North.
  • Dinner discussion | We'll get dinner and hear from a second expert familiar with North Korean affairs.

  • Overnight at Kumgangsan Condo | A hotel very close in resemblance to those you'll stay in during a visit to DPRK.

New year, new approach: 
What's next for DPRK affairs in 2020?

DAY 4: RETURN TO SEOUL

MON. SEPT 26:

  • Baeksom Sea Observatory | After breakfast and hotel checkout we'll drive south for stunning views of the coastline towards North Korea – from a structure newly built above the ocean called the Baeksom Sea Observatory.
  • Wanggok Village | A traditional Korean hanok village located in a stunning valley – taking the visitors back to a time when Korea was still one nation.

  • Lunch and free-time | There are shops and restaurants in/adjacent to Wanggok village for guests to enjoy.
  • Drive to Seoul A 4-5 hour drive back to Seoul, depending on rush-hour traffic into the city.

  • Dinner discussion | Our third dinner discussion with a North Korea specialist.

  • Overnight: 
    Ibis Ambassador Insadong Seoul

New year, new approach: 
What's next for DPRK affairs in 2020?

DAY 5: EXPLORING SEOUL

TUES. SEPT 27:

  • War Memorial of Korea Detailed history of the Korean War – cause of the separation of the peninsula. 

  • Bukchon Hanok Village | Immerse yourself in traditional Korean culture on the streets of the Bukchon traditional house village in downtown Seoul.
  • Seodaemun Independence Park and Prison | An area dedicated to independence fighters during the Japanese colonial period.

  • Namsan and Seoul N Tower | One of the most famous landmarks in Seoul, with stunning views around the city – including the mountains protecting from DPRK attack.
  • Dinner discussion | We'll gather for a fourth dinner discussion with a locally-based North Korea specialist.

    Overnight:
    Ibis Ambassador Insadong Seoul

New year, new approach: 
What's next for DPRK affairs in 2020?

DAY 6: EXPLORING SEOUL

WEDS. SEPT 28:

  • Gyeongbokbung The main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1897) and, as the largest palace, is often argued to be the most beautiful.

  • Gwanghwamun Square | The political capital of South Korea, where key gov. and media offices are all located.

  • National Museum of Contemporary Korean History | Learn about the years South Korea suffered under military dictatorship.
  • Lunch with NK News | An exclusive opportunity for a sit-down conversation with key journalists from the NK News team. Learn about how news on North Korea is sourced, verified, and accurately produced.
  • Baegak Mounatain Trail of Seoul City Wall | Join your tour leader for a 5km hike behind Seoul's Blue House (presidential palace). Stunning views and North Korea-related spots to take-in. 

    OR

    Afternoon off at own leisure | The hike is medium-to-challenging and may not be for everyone. If it's not for you, take a break for the PM.

    Overnight:
    Ibis Ambassador Insadong Seoul

New year, new approach: 
What's next for DPRK affairs in 2020?

DAY 7: CHEORWON DMZ TOUR

THURS. SEPT 29:

  • Drive to Cheorwon area Approx. 2 hours.

  • Memorial Tower of Baengmagoji Battlefield and Memorial Museum | Where one of the bloodiest Korean War battles took place.

  • Goseokjeong Nat'l Tourist Area | Get lunch at a scenic spot where DMZ tours start.
  • Second infiltration tunnel | Tour one of four known tunnels built by DPRK to invade South Korea.

  • Cheorwon Peace Observatory | Take in views of the DPRK town of Seonjeon, the DMZ and Cheorwon plain.
  • Woljeong-ri Station | The last railway station on the ROK side of the DMZ.

    Cheorwon Workers' Party HQ | A regional political headquarters used by North Korea until the Korean war changed frontier locations
  • Drive back to Seoul | An approx. 2 hour drive back to South Korea's capital.

  • Freetime for dinner | Due to the expected late arrival, no scheduled dinner briefing for Thursday.

  • Overnight: Ibis Ambassador Insadong Seoul

New year, new approach: 
What's next for DPRK affairs in 2020?

DAY 8: YEONPYEONG-DO, YELLOW SEA

FRI. SEPT 30:

  • Ferry to Yeonpyeong-do | Drive to Incheon port and 8AM check-in for the 2.5-hour sailing to Yeonpyeong island.

  • Lunch with briefing | Go to a restaurant for local delicacies and a briefing from a top North Korea expert.
  • Border and beach tour of Yeonpyeong-do | During the afternoon we'll tour the full circumference of the island, stopping off at all the main vista points, beaches and cultural sights. There'll also be chances to scour for more DPRK trash and tune into its SW radio channels.
  • Minbak check in, free-time - The group will divide across 2-3 'minbak' guesthouses and have time to freshen up and explore the local vicinity.

    Note: Minbaks offer basic-level accommodation -- similar to a youth hostel (hotels don't exist on Yeonpyeong-do)
  • Group dinner | We'll visit a local seafood restaurant and take in a group meal, with open conversation between accompanying experts and guides.

  • Overnight at Minbak | Karaoke may also be possible, if the local facility is open!

New year, new approach: 
What's next for DPRK affairs in 2020?

DAY 9: GANGHWADO, INCHEON

SAT. OCT 1:

  • Breakfast and free time | You'll have time to explore a bit of the island by yourself if you wake early, as well as grab a bite to eat.

  • Ferry and lunch | We'll take an 11.30 ferry back to Incheon. Guests are encouraged to buy lunch before they board or eat on the ferry.
  • Aegibong Peace Ecopark | After we disembark, we'll drive directly to the Aegibong Peace Ecopark -- a fantastic and newly renovated look-out point in Ganghwa province. The observatory provides stunning views of North Korea and suburban Seoul -- all in one take.
  • Yeonmijeong Pavillion | A Koryo-dynasty pavillion which has witnessed many wars across its long history.

  • Manghyangdae | A solemn place for overlooking North Korea, used by DPRK refugees to perform ancestral rights.
  • Dinner discussion | We'll gather for another dinner featuring input from a guest expert.

  • Overnight:
    Hotel Everrich, Ganghwa province

New year, new approach: 
What's next for DPRK affairs in 2020?

DAY 10: GANGHWADO AND IMJINGAK

SUN. OCT 2:

  • Gangwhado Observatory | Early morning we'll drive to another great spot for observing North Korea.

  • Daeryong Market | Originally founded by DPRK refugees, this market has a 60s/70s retro feel.

  • Beach launch sites tour | If time allows, we'll checkout some of the sites used by human rights groups to launch propaganda messages to North Korea.
  • Odusan Observatory | Probably the best known spot for looking into North Korea, due to its relatively close location to Seoul. 

    You'll be able to see DPRK farms, workers and military guard posts.
  • Imjingak Resort | Located on the river separating the two Koreas, you can experience a range of North Korea-related sights.

  • Drive back to Seoul | We'll head back to Seoul in the early evening to check-in and get dinner. 
  • Final dinner | No experts tonight: Just a great opportunity to say good bye to your fellow travellers.

  • Overnight: 
    Ibis Ambassador Insadong Seoul

New year, new approach: 
What's next for DPRK affairs in 2020?

DAY 11: DEPARTURE FROM SEOUL

MON. OCT 3:

  • Departure from Seoul | After hotel check-out, you can catch a flight, bus or train back to your home city/location.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

- Two meals a day, unless stated

- Accommodation in hotel, and in minbak (Yeonpyeong-do)

- Entry fees

- Transportation while on tour

- Ferry (Incheon-Yeonpyeong-do-Incheon)


NOT INCLUDED

- A Koryo Tours leader – Gergő Váczi – and local guide

- Three specialists accompanying multi-night segments throughout trip

- Meetings and meals with guest specialists (at least seven separate briefings).

- K-ETA or visa fee

- Travel insurance

- Spending money for souvenirs, etc.

- Optional single supplement (USD $40 per night)

- Flights to/from South Korea

- Optional airport transfers



NORTH KOREA FROM A NEAR DISTANCE

THE FULL ITINERARY

ANDREI LANKOV

One of the world's leading experts on DPRK and author of multiple best-selling books. Lankov will accompany the West Sea itinerary (two nights).
Host of the NK News podcast, a long-form interview series of over 200 episodes, Zwetsloot has had a long-standing focus on DPRK and visited several times.

JACCO ZWETSLOOT

CHAD O'CARROLL

Founder of Korea Risk Group, the company behind NK News and NK Pro. O'Carroll will accompany both East and West Sea itineraries.

NOTE: THIS ITINERARY MAY BE MODIFIED IF PANMUNJOM/DMZ  OPENS FOR TOURS

Apply to attend
Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Also joining for portions of the trip will be two VIP guests who will offer unique insights about the country from very different backgrounds. 

+ 2 SPECIAL GUESTS

For your benefit, the following people will accompany the tour for different multi-night stages:

PRICING

EARLY BIRD

+ Credit card processing

$2,295.00

- For those booking quickly
Pay before May 1, 2022

STANDARD

$2,445.00

+ Credit card processing

- For standard bookings
Up to 15 places only

LAST SPACES

$2,595.00

+ Credit card processing

- For last min. bookings
Last five places only

Note: Tour is limited to 20 guests maximum!

In cooperation with Koryo Tours Manager Gergő Váczi

Apply to attend
Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Apply to attend
Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Apply to attend
Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Apply to attend
Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.