Why Can T We Go To North Korea

Sidelining North Korea: Understanding Why Visiting North Korea is Not Possible

North Korea is the most isolated country in the world. It is under heavy sanctions from the international community and the United Nations. For years, foreign nations have criticized the government of North Korea for its oppressive and repressive policies. This has made it difficult for people to visit North Korea as tourists or to do business there. But why can’t we simply go to North Korea? Here we will explore the answers to that question.

Military Aggression

Firstly, the North Korean government is known for its aggressive military activity. For example, in 2019 North Korea tested several long-range ballistic missiles. This put the United States, Japan and South Korea on high alert. As a result, these nations froze diplomatic relations with North Korea, claiming the testing of missiles posed a threat to their security. The United Nations Security Council also imposed further sanctions against North Korea in direct response to the military aggression.

Rights Abuses

In addition to military aggression, North Korea’s oppressive regime has also resulted in numerous human rights violations. The UN has uncovered many reports of forced labor, torture and extra-judicial killings in North Korea. Furthermore, the North Korean government has failed to protect its citizens’ freedom of expression. Citizens are under constant surveillance and those who criticize the government often face punishment. All of this has caused the international community to question why any foreign nation would continue to do business in North Korea or allow its citizens to visit.


The North Korean government is known for its use of intense propaganda to shape the public’s opinion of the current regime. The government strictly controls what type of media the public can access and tightly regulates all information reported on state-run television and newspapers. The government also runs a state-sanctioned education system to teach its citizens to be loyal to their leaders and country. This has encouraged citizens to stay uninformed and prevented them from exploring outside information sources.


Furthermore, North Korea’s economy is in a poor state. The country’s gross domestic product is only a fraction of that of its neighbors. Its economy is heavily reliant on coal and minerals, among other natural resources. But with global sanctions imposed on North Korea by the UN, the country’s economy has become increasingly fragile. Its citizens, who already struggle with poverty, experience the brunt of the economic deterioration. This has deterred many people from traveling to North Korea for business or leisure.

Political Intransigence

Finally, North Korea’s political system has been authoritarian in nature and resistant to change. The current regime is led by Kim Jong-un, who has established a system of political control that is hard to break. Opposition to the government is rare and the country’s leaders are not held accountable for their actions. Citizens are discouraged to question their government and are instead encouraged to show loyalty. This has made it difficult for outsiders to interact with North Korean citizens, as well as visiting the country.


North Korea has become isolated from the rest of the world due to its strict restrictions on communication. The government limits the access citizens have to the internet, phone and other communication devices. Furthermore, access to radio, television and other forms of media is severely restricted. This has made it difficult for citizens to gain access to information from outside sources and even to communicate with one another. This has made it impossible to visit North Korea without the government’s permission.

The Reality

In conclusion, visiting North Korea is not easy. Military aggression, human rights abuses, propaganda, economic issues, political intransigence and limited communication are just some of the reasons why. As a result, the global community has imposed heavy sanctions against North Korea, making it difficult for people from other parts of the world to enter the country. Until the North Korean government takes meaningful steps towards addressing these issues, it seems likely that travel to North Korea will remain out of reach for now.

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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