N Korea opens up to tourists

North Korea has opened a city near its border to allow visits from tourists.

North Korea, a country that is largely closed to outside visitors, opened its border this week to allow people from neighbouring South Korea to see a historic city.

A convoy of ten buses carrying 250 tourists crossed the border and travelled to the city of Kaesong.

It was the first time that the city on the frontier between North and South Korea has been opened to cross-border tourists since the end of the war between the two countries in 1953.

News agency AFP quotes a spokesperson for Hyundai Asan, the tour operator that oversees most cross-border trips, as saying: "Kaesong is surfacing as a popular tourist attraction among South Koreans as it gives you a rare glimpse into a North Korean city."

The frontier town is not the only tourist destination in North Korea, however, as since 1998 the Mount Kumgang resort on the east coast has been open to foreign visitors.

Some 1.6 million South Koreans are thought to have visited the mountain region over the past nine years. The expanding tourism program between the two countries is hoped to represent a reconciliation of sorts between the two previously warring nations.

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N Korea Opens Up To Tourists