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North Korea

North Korea?

North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a secretive and isolated nation located on the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. Covering approximately 120,538 square kilometers, it shares a border with South Korea to the south, China to the northwest, and Russia to the northeast.

The country’s history is marked by division and political tensions between North and South Korea. North Korea is known for its authoritarian regime, controlled media, and strict isolationist policies. Limited access for foreign travelers and the absence of diplomatic relations with several countries contribute to its enigmatic status.

By air
How to Reach North Korea by Air

Travel to North Korea is highly restricted, and most visitors can only enter the country as part of a guided tour arranged by an authorized tour operator. The tour operator will assist with the necessary visas, permits, and logistics. Here’s how to reach North Korea:

Flying is the most common and efficient way to reach North Korea. The country has several international airports, with Pyongyang Sunan International Airport (FNJ) serving as a major entry point.

  • From China and Russia: Travelers from neighboring countries like China and Russia may find the most accessible routes to North Korea. Air Koryo, the national carrier, operates flights connecting Beijing, Shenyang, Vladivostok, and Moscow to Pyongyang. Flight durations can vary based on the departure location, but typically range from 1 to 3 hours.
  • From Other International Locations: Travelers from other international locations can reach Pyongyang with a limited number of carriers that offer flights to North Korea. Air Koryo has flights from Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait City, and a few other destinations. Flight durations will depend on the specific route and can range from 5 to 9 hours or more.
How Long Is the Flight to North Korea?

Access to North Korea for international flights is highly restricted and only a few specific routes are typically available. Here are approximate flight times from some of the most common origins that historically have had connections to North Korea:

  • Beijing, China: Around 2 hours
  • Vladivostok, Russia: Approximately 1.5 hours
  • Shenyang, China: About 1 hour
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Around 6 to 7 hours (historically, this route has been available but is not regular)
  • Shanghai, China: Approximately 2 hours

It’s important to note that these times are based on the limited and occasionally available routes. Flight availability to North Korea can change frequently due to diplomatic and political considerations.

By road
How to Reach North Korea by Road
  • Overland travel to North Korea is possible but limited. Most travelers arrive by road from China, crossing the border at Dandong/Sinuiju. It’s important to note that this border crossing is not open to tourists without special permission.
  • Road travel from South Korea is not possible due to political tensions and the presence of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two nations.
AI Disclaimer Disclaimer: This page was created with help from AI | Reviewed by: Andrew Helling, Editor-in-Chief