North Korea is in plans to open border to foreigners for first time since COVID-19: report
North Korea Prepares for Foreign Openings Following COVID-19 Lockdown
A Shift in Stance
Reports have emerged indicating that North Korea is prepared to lift its border closure to foreign nationals—a stance never seen since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. An announcement has been made to the effect that the hermit kingdom is hoping to open its doors to foreigners from as early as next week.
The COVID-19 Context
A system of rigorous restrictions and protocols was implemented to safeguard North Korea from COVID-19, seeing the country lock its borders in early 2020. These measures famously culminated in North Korea being one of the few countries largely undisturbed by the global pandemic. It has managed to maintain a remarkably low number of virus-related cases, which it attributes to these strict border controls and safety measures.
New Entry Guidelines
The new regulations propose that foreign nationals looking to enter North Korea would be required to enter a two-day quarantine period upon arrival before being permitted free movement within the country. The specifics of how this protocol will be executed are presently unknown, especially in terms of whether it will apply universally or only to travelers emanating from certain regions.
First Moves Towards Opening
Evidence of North Korea’s unparalleled steps towards reopening its borders first surfaced earlier this year. Observers reported activities such as allowing delegations from prominent nations like China and Russia and permitting the re-entry of North Koreans who had previously been abroad as signs of the country’s shift in attitude.
Recent International Engagements
These signs of openness have culminated in North Korea’s more active engagement on the international stage in recent weeks. This has included high-ranking officials visiting Russia for a summit and athletes actively participating in the 2023 Asian Games – a significant event that took place over the weekend in Hangzhou, China.
Awaiting Official Confirmation
While the reports of North Korea’s decision to open its borders to foreign nationals have cruised through major reporting channels, we have yet to see an official confirmation from North Korea’s state media. As we eagerly await an official statement, the world watches with bated breaths as North Korea cautiously journeys towards opening its borders for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Implications for the Future
The proposed easing of border restrictions signals a potential shift in North Korea’s engagement with the international community – a move that is likely to pique the curiosity of diplomatic and strategic circles worldwide. A probable resurgence of international activity within North Korean borders could have profound implications for North Korea’s geopolitical position and its economic prospects amid recovering from the global pandemic’s effects. Nonetheless, until the specifics of these new regulations are formally announced, the full extent of this potential new era remains speculative.
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