Curious tourists still want a glimpse of North Korea despite sanctions

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/12/4 18:48:39 Last Updated: 2016/12/7 13:38:39

Chinese tourists watch the North Korean side across the Yalu River using telescopes in Dandong, Northeast China's Liaoning Province. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Chinese tourists watch the North Korean side across the Yalu River using telescopes in Dandong, Northeast China's Liaoning Province. Photo: Li Hao/GT



Along the Yalu River which divides China and North Korea, curious tour groups occasionally arrive at the riverbank in the Chinese city of Dandong to have a peek across the river via coin-operated telescopes.

Others hop on tourist boats that set sail along the river, trying to get a closer look at the landscape of the country and its people's livelihood.

Local tourism agencies say winter is the slack season for sightseeing on the Yalu. They have been receiving few tourists lately, with some wondering if this has anything to do with the new round of sanctions slapped on North Korea by the United Nations.

The UN Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Wednesday, which aim to cut the country's export revenue in response to its repeated nuclear tests. South Korea, Japan and the US subsequently announced harsher, unilateral sanctions against North Korea, which include blacklisting entities and individuals who facilitate the North's nuclear activities and trade.

Dandong tourist agent Xi Kun said they have to negotiate with the North Korean government before they can take tourists onto the Yalu River for sightseeing. Tourists can see the houses of North Korean soldiers and ordinary residents, as well as people living across the river, including male and female soldiers on patrol, fishermen and civilians waiting to board ships.

Constantly living under curious gazes, some North Koreans living near the border are not happy with this business. During the short journey on the boat, a tour guide reminds tourists not to take photos of North Korean soldiers when the boat passes near them, otherwise the soldiers may throw stones at the boat.

Global Times

North Koreans fish on the Yalu River.Photo: Li Hao/GT

North Koreans fish on the Yalu River. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A North Korean soldier keeps watch across the river. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A North Korean soldier keeps watch across the river. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A tourist in traditional Korean costume poses for photos beside the river. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A tourist in traditional Korean costume poses for photos beside the river. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A man walks past the new Yalu Bridge in Dandong. The Chinese side of the bridge is finished, but construction on the Korean side has been halted due to a shortage of funds. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A man walks past the new Yalu Bridge in Dandong. The Chinese side of the bridge is finished, but construction on the Korean side has been halted due to a shortage of funds. Photo: Li Hao/GT

 


Newspaper headline: Life under curious gazes


Posted in: IN-DEPTH

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