Stab Magazine | North Korea: Surf tourism's new beacon of light

North Korea: Surf tourism’s new beacon of light

Words by Morgan Williamson  Kim Jong-Un’s got the stoke! What happens when the world’s favourite tyrant, Chicago Bulls, and potential Mick Fanning enthusiast gets infected by froth? He has the coast scoured for surf spots and evaluated. I can only imagine how the evaluations will come back. I assume North Korea’s coast’s essentially the seven mile miracle […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Words by Morgan Williamson 

Kim Jong-Un’s got the stoke! What happens when the world’s favourite tyrant, Chicago Bulls, and potential Mick Fanning enthusiast gets infected by froth? He has the coast scoured for surf spots and evaluated. I can only imagine how the evaluations will come back. I assume North Korea’s coast’s essentially the seven mile miracle meets Indo sprinkled with Mexican pointbreaks, West Oz slabs, and big wave spots genetically more sound than the spawn of Mavs and Jaws’.

Back in August 2014, Dear Kim opened N. Korea’s 1,550 mile long eastern coast to small surf tours. Which for some reason have yet to flourish. So, in the latest move to boost tourism to his beloved country he’s launched an eight day surf tour. Fronted by Italian surfer Nicola Zanella and 20 ‘serious’ surfers from around the world; including but not limited to the United States, Italy, China and Germany. Kim’s other 2014 endeavor took to the slopes. In a shocking ten months time N. Korea’s first luxury ski resort built and open for biz, complete with a hotel, ice rink, heliport, swimming pool and restaurants. But 2015’s all about the coast. Kim Jong’s hermit kingdom really is the full package; slopes, waves, oppression, poverty, hunger, monuments and leader worship. What better a deity!? After all Mr Jong-Un’s father Mr Jong-Il did have a supernatural birth and shortly after invented the hamburger.

North Korea’s booming tourism industry attracted 100,000 visitors last year. The majority from China, minus a few thousand. According to the Associated Press; Kim hopes there will be ten times as many visitors from overseas by 2017 and by 2020 the tourism tally will hit two million. This socialist oxymoron of conflicting ideals is exactly what N. Korea needs right now, they’ve been due for an image boost. Especially after the country’s recent dead bolting of doors to nearly all travelers due to fear of the dreaded Ebola. Which going off the general health of North Korea’s citizens; Ebola would’ve been as cataclysmic as the black death. Good call Kim! But Ebola’s out of the headlines and Kim Jong’s mind. And the great leader says: let there be surf!

kim jung body

Kim Jung’s breaking all the rules! I always pegged him to be a regular foot.

“Tourism can produce a lot of profit relative to the investment required,” Mr Jong-Un said in a recent interview in Pyongyang. “So that’s why our country’s putting priority on it.” He then put emphasis on their scenic mountains, secluded coastline, monuments and museums, adding that North Korea is unlike anywhere else on earth… “Many people in foreign countries think in a wrong way about our country,” Kim said. “Though the economic sanctions of the U.S. imperialists are increasing, we are developing our economy. So I think many people are curious about our country.”

Traveling out of the US: According to The Department of State: strongly recommends against all travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK). Travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea is not routine, and U.S. citizens have been subject to arrest and long-term detention for actions that would not be cause for arrest in the United States or other countries. North Korean authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who entered the DPRK legally on valid DPRK visas as well as U.S. citizens who accidentally or intentionally crossed into DPRK territory without valid visas. The Department of State has received reports of DPRK authorities detaining U.S. citizens without charges and not allowing them to depart the country. North Korea has even detained several U.S. citizens who were part of organized tours. Do not assume that joining a group tour or using a tour guide will prevent North Korean authorities from detaining you or arresting you.

From AUS: According to the Australian government: We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to the DPRK due to restrictions placed on foreigners and very different laws and regulations applying to behaviour, as well as intermittent DPRK threats against international interests. This may mean deferring non-essential travel or choosing a less risky destination. If you decide to travel, you should stay as short a time as possible, eliminate unnecessary activities, and review your security arrangements.

Europe??: I couldn’t find specific prices but the World’s Worst Airline, Korean Air Koryo will get you there.

Safe travels.


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