North Korea will open some of its popular tourist spots to the public, in a bid to stem the tourism boom from the country’s economic crisis.
The government announced the new measures on Tuesday, adding the countrys first tourist hotspot to the list of new attractions.
“North Korea has always provided an excellent opportunity for the citizens of the country to enjoy tourism and tourism tourism is a major factor in its economic development,” said Park Myung-bak, a deputy foreign minister.
The move comes just weeks after the country closed its tourist sites to foreign tourists after the start of the Great Nuclear War in the 1990s.
“The North Korean government has always sought to provide a positive experience for the tourists and will now strive to make this happen,” Park said.
The new parks will open in the North’s western city of Sinuiju on April 28, according to the announcement, with the tourist bureau organizing a public event on May 10.
A similar program was launched in the South’s eastern city of Gwangju in January.
Both are located in the Demilitarized Zone, an area where the two Koreas are technically at war.
The Koreas have never declared a full-fledged war since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
The North says it aims to rebuild its economy through tourism.
But it has been unable to find foreign tourists to fill the void left by a drop in the number of visitors due to the economic collapse.
The country has about one million people living there, and some believe the North is losing the market to South Korea and China.