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Chinese tourists flock to North Korea amid détente

SEOUL, June 27 (UPI) — An increasing number of Chinese tourists are visiting North Korea as diplomatic relations improve between North Korea and Beijing.

Hundreds of Chinese travelers are visiting major tourist sites in the North, including the capital city of Pyongyang, according to a travel agency based in the Chinese border town of Dangdong, Chosun Ilbo reported Wednesday.

Photos of Chinese group tourists in Pyongyang are seen on the Chinese social media service Baidu. Chinese travel agencies selling North Korea travel packages are receiving increasing inquiries, industry insiders said in the report.

Air China resumed flights between Beijing and Pyongyang this month as military tensions in the region reduced following the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump on June 12.

The Chinese national carrier suspended its flights between the two capital cities when sanctions against North Korea heightened with the North’s sixth nuclear test in September of last year.

Qunar, one of the biggest travel agencies in China, released travel products that include visits to major North Korean tourist attractions, including Pyongyang and Mount Myohyang, last week, according to Hankook Ilbo.

The Chinese government has blocked its people to travel to Pyongyang since November when military tensions intensified following North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests. It only allowed people in the northeastern provinces bordering North Korea, home for ethnic Korean Chinese residents, travel to the North starting the end of last year.

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