Tourism Interest in North Korea Rising: What to See in the ‘Isolated’ Country [PHOTOS]

  on January 05 2012 7:43 AM
  • Juche Tower
    The tower of the Juche Idea called the Juche Tower in central Pyongyang was built to commemorate Kim Jong-li's father Kim Il Sung's 70th birthday in 1982. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause
  • Friendship Bridge
    A tourist wears traditional Korean clothes as she poses for a picture in front of the Friendship Bridge which connects the Chinese city of Dandong with the North Korean town of Sinuiju in Dandong, Liaoning province June 28, 2010. REUTERS
  • Kumgang
    Tourists walk down a mountain at the Mount Kumgang resort in Kumgang Aug. 31, 2011. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
  • Sea Side Area
    A tourist takes pictures at the costal area of the Mount Kumgang resort in Kumgang Aug. 31, 2011. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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Tourism in North Korea is restricted and controlled by the government. Tourists often visit the country in guided tours under strict supervision from Korean authorities. No one can tread through North Korea on their own. So why is there a sudden surge in interest in visiting the nation?

The country’s tour operators say that the death of their leader Kim Jong-il in December has sparked interest in tourists to see North Korea, after poignant pictures of his funeral and the weeping crowds were flashed across the world.

The late leader’s upcoming 70th birthday celebrations next month have also boosted the number of inquiries related to visiting the country in February.

North Korea is technically still in a 51-year state of war with its neighbor South Korea, and its constant attempt to become the world's most powerful nuclear-armed state has left the country in a state of isolation from the rest of the world.

However, there are a few places in North Korea that attract tourists from China, South Korea and elsewhere every year.

Browse through the slideshow to learn more about tourist spots in North Korea.

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