Foreign travel advice

North Korea


The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains tense following continued DPRK ballistic missile test launches.

The situation in Pyongyang remains calm but the level of tension on the Korean peninsula can change with little notice. You should follow the political and security situation closely and stay in touch with your host organisation or tour operator. 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.

Although there is no recent history of terrorism in North Korea, attacks can’t be ruled out. 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.