China suspends tourism to North Korea as U.S. President Trump visits
Nov 07, 2017 World 5742 By Michelle Clarke
- China suspends tourism to North Korea as U.S. President Trump visits.
- No official confirmation from Chinese government.
- Tour operators were simply asked to stop making trips to Pyongyang.
As China prepares to host U.S. President Donald Trump in Beijing on Wednesday, the Chinese government has suspended tourist trips towards the North Korean capital Pyongyang on Tuesday.
Trump is expected to make his first official visit to China on Wednesday where he will be hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
After receiving several sanctions this year for their persistent nuclear development program, North Korea has relied heavily on the revenues from tourism and it is still unclear whether this is an economic sanction from China or just a security measure until Trump leaves the country.
“It was very unexpected, we had no idea this was going to happen until we received the notification today,” said a Chinese tour operator who runs trips to North Korea out of Dandong.
“This is devastating news for us,” he said, adding the order had come from the Dandong Tourism Bureau.
The sources said the government had not given any official explanation for the changes.
“It’s low season right now, but that’s unlikely to be the reason,” said another Dandong-based tourism source.
“It’s much more likely to be connected to increasing sanctions against North Korea. We’ll have to wait and see what happens once Trump leaves China. Maybe they will loosen the rules but it’s very hard to say. This is all connected to the growing tensions.”