Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that comprehensive travel insurance, including medical insurance, is obtained before travelling to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Travellers should note that the Irish government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula escalated considerably last Spring, culminating in the closure of the Kaesung Industrial Complex operated by South Korean industry in the DPRK. While the high level of tension has abated, the potential for rapid escalation remains.
At the present time, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all non-essential travel to the DPRK.
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
SAFETY & SECURITY
The threat from terrorism in the DPRK is low but there is always the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks anywhere in the world.
North Korea carried out an underground nuclear test in 2009 and in 2013. There has been no evidence of radiation fall-out from these tests.
Levels of crime against foreigners in the DPRK are low. Exercise normal safety precautions and ensure that valuables are secure.
LOCAL LAWS & CUSTOMS
All mobile phones have to be surrendered on entry into the DPRK and are returned upon departure.
Travel within the DPRK is severely restricted. Travellers will almost certainly be accompanied by a guide at all times, and only allowed to go to locations where the guide gives approval and where permission has been received in advance. Foreign residents (and there are very few) are usually allowed to travel freely within the city of Pyongyang; however, permission is required for travel outside the city. It might be possible to have short walks unaccompanied from some of the major hotels in Pyongyang.
A limited number of taxis are sometimes available from hotels or
outside department stores. However, they are often reluctant
to take you without a local guide/interpreter.
International driving licences are not valid in DPRK. Foreigners resident in DPRK must be in possession of a local licence, obtained by passing a local driving test.
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR MISSIONS
The Embassy of Ireland in Seoul is accredited to DPRK. For contact details please click here. (Opens in new window)Top