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Published on Monday, August 20, 2018

North Korea freezes tourist visas

North Korea has frozen all tourist visa applications for travel for the next two weeks due to an unspecified 'state decision'.

It is thought this is due to a major anniversary being celebrated next month - the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country.

Koryo Tours, a tour agency popular with foreign visitors to North Korea, said it was informed by its partners in the North Korea capital Pyongyang that it had been instructed that all tourist visa applications currently underway are to be frozen.

The freeze applies until after the anniversary in early September.

News reports said Pyongyang instructed all hotels to close 'for renovations' for 20 days from the weekend.

The short term ban is primarily aimed at Chinese tour groups which have surged in recent weeks due to the apparent thawing of relations with the west.

Up to 2,000 visitors a day have been streaming over the border.

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