How To Travel To North Korea From Us

Background Information

Traveling to the isolated nation of North Korea has become more difficult in the recent times due to its increasing tensions with the US and other western countries. Despite the relationship between the two countries, it is still possible for US citizens to visit North Korea. However, there are certain regulations and restrictions that must be followed. This article will provide an overview of how US citizens can travel to North Korea safely and legally.


The first and most important step for US citizens planning to travel to North Korea is obtaining a visa. It is necessary to apply for a visa at least three weeks before the planned travel date. The North Korean government requires travelers to submit proof of medical insurance, information about their occupations and the purpose of the visit. In addition to these documents, a signed letter of invitation needs to be provided, along with a photograph. After the visa has been approved, travelers must submit a security deposit to the local travel agency in order to be allowed to travel.

Costs of Travel

US citizens must pay for the travel related costs themselves. This can include the cost of visas, accommodation, transportation and any other required items. However, travel expenses can vary significantly depending on the length and purpose of the trip. The cost of these items can be steep, and therefore, careful budgeting is essential to ensure that these costs do not become too excessive.

Safety Issues

Due to the ongoing tensions between North Korea and the US, there are certain risks associated with traveling to the country. US citizens must be aware of the potential risks and understand that their safety is of utmost importance. Furthermore, it is necessary to be aware of the various safety and security measures that must be taken when traveling to the country. It is highly recommended to consult with travel agents and organizations such as the United Nations (UN) in order to be properly informed about the latest safety advice for travelers.

Cultural Considerations

One of the most important things to keep in mind when traveling to North Korea is the cultural differences between the two countries. US citizens should be aware of the unique cultural norms and practices that they may encounter while in North Korea. As the country is largely isolated from the rest of the world, it is important to be mindful of their customs and not adopt a western mindset when interacting with locals.

Respecting the Government and Laws

US citizens must always remember to follow the North Korean laws and regulations while in the country. It is important to understand that North Korea is a totalitarian state and therefore, it is essential to adhere to all the laws and regulations imposed by the government. Furthermore, it is also necessary to avoid any activities that may be considered as subversive or hostile towards the government, as this could lead to serious penalties.

Travel Planning

Once visas and other travel related documents are obtained, it is important to start planning the trip. The most important thing is to book flights and accommodation in advance in order to make the most out of the visit. There are numerous tour companies who provide services for travelers and can make the process of planning much easier.

Responsible Tourism

When traveling to North Korea, it is important for US citizens to always practice responsible tourism. This includes being mindful of the cultural norms, adhering to the laws and regulations, and respecting the local customs. In addition, it is important not to interfere with the political situation or engage in activities that may be viewed as hostile by North Koreans. By following these guidelines, US citizens can ensure that their visit to North Korea is safe, enjoyable, and respectful of the local culture and people.

Specific Rules and Regulations

The North Korean government has established a number of specific rules and regulations that US citizens must follow while in the country. This includes respecting the local laws, refraining from engaging in activities not related to tourism, avoiding contact with local citizens, and not taking pictures that are deemed to be offensive or politically sensitive. Furthermore, it is necessary to always carry a valid ID during the visit, as this may be checked by officials at any time.

Communication Limitations

Due to the political tensions between the two countries, US citizens must be aware that communication with North Korean citizens is heavily restricted. As such, it is important to not engage in any verbal or written conversations with locals unless it is related to tourism activities. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that North Korea has an internet and phone network which is heavily monitored by the authorities. US citizens should therefore avoid any activities that could be seen as suspicious or illegal.


In conclusion, US citizens must take the necessary steps in order to safely and legally travel to North Korea. This includes obtaining visas, preparing budgets, following safety and security measures, understanding cultural differences, and respecting the laws and regulations of the country. By following these guidelines, US citizens can ensure that their visit to North Korea is both safe and enjoyable.

Cassie Grissom is an American journalist and author living in Seoul, South Korea. She has been studying the Korean peninsula since 2011, and her work focuses on understanding human rights issues in North Korea. In addition to her work as an author, Cassie is an active advocate for human rights in North Korea. She regularly shares stories about life in North Korea with international audiences to raise awareness of the plight of its citizens.

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