Israeli news site Globes reported that Tarbutu, a subsidiary of Israel’s Rimon Tours, has worked out an arrangement with KITSC, the North Korean national travel agency and will be running four tours this spring.
North Korea has been largely closed to Israeli citizens until now and Tarbutu’s program manager, Haim Peres, estimated that, to date, only 100 Israelis have taken organized tours of North Korea using Chinese visas. Peres described North Korea as “one of the most fascinating countries in the world today.”
Israelis traveling to North Korea are also required to obtain a Chinese tourist visa with two entries.
Travelers will be subject to certain restrictions during their time in North Korea. While cell phones, laptops and tablet are permitted in the country, internet access is limited to within North Korea and international communications are only available at hotels. Tourists are forbidden to use local currency, but can use dollars, euros and the Chinese yuan. With no ATMs or currency conversion facilities in North Korea, visitors are advised to bring sufficient cash with them.
There is no travel ban to North Korea but Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends that travelers to the area exercise extreme caution. Israel does not maintain diplomatic relations with North Korea, which according to Tarbutu, has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
Tarbutu’s tours to North Korea start at $3,850, which does not include expenses, insurance or tourist visas.