Foreign travel advice
On 9 September 2016, the DPRK (North Korea) conducted its second nuclear test of 2016 and its fifth since 2009. Since the nuclear test in January, the DPRK have conducted several ballistic missile tests. The situation in Pyongyang remains calm. You should follow the political and security situation closely and stay in touch with your host organisation or tour operator. See Political situation.
The level of tension on the Korean peninsula can change with little notice. See Political situation.
British nationals resident in or travelling to the DPRK who are not with tour groups should inform the British Embassy in Pyongyang about their travel plans prior to, or on arrival.
You can’t enter or leave North Korea through the border with South Korea without special permission.
The British Embassy Pyongyang can provide only limited consular assistance to those visiting parts of the DPRK outside the capital Pyongyang due to restricted access.
Flooding is common in the rainy season (July to August). See Natural Disasters.
There is a low threat from terrorism. See Terrorism
Very few British nationals visit North Korea and those that do are usually part of an organised tour.
Offences that would be considered trivial in other countries can incur very severe penalties in North Korea, particularly those which the authorities deem to be disrespectful towards the North Korean leadership or government. In recent years the North Korean authorities have arrested and sentenced some legal visitors on these grounds, including 3 US citizens. On 16 March 2016 a US national was sentenced to 15 years hard labour after a conviction for crimes against the state; he was alleged to have attempted to steal a political slogan from the staff quarters of a main tourist hotel. See Local laws and customs
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.