Foreign travel advice

North Korea

Summary

On 6 January 2016 DPRK state media announced that North Korea had conducted a nuclear test. The situation in Pyongyang remains calm. This was followed on 7 February by a satellite launch using ballistic missile technology. You should follow the political and security situation closely and stay in touch with your host organisation or tour operator.

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. Most visits are trouble-free. However, the North Korean authorities have arrested other legal visitors, including 3 US citizens during recent years.

Offences that would be considered trivial in other countries can incur very severe penalties in North Korea. On 16 March 2016 a US national was sentenced to 15 years hard labour after his 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.