While this latest military muscle flex on behalf of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is something that the U.S. has heard before, it comes at a time when the U.S. and South Korea are conducting joint naval exercises off the Korean peninsula. North Korea has launched similar missile tests this year. U.S. military experts say there is no evidence to show that North Korea has any capability of carrying out its threats.
Those threats have apparently done nothing to deter, of all things, tourism in North Korea. Given the propensity for North Korean officials to detain--and sometimes imprison--foreigners (as in the case of Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student sentenced to 15 years hard labor in North Korea), the destination is not necessarily at the top of most travelers’ must-see list. The majority of Western nations, including the U.S., have no diplomatic relations with North Korea, which means negotiating release of a detainee is virtually impossible.
Yet, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is said to embrace tourism, notwithstanding a six-month ban imposed last year on foreign travelers, prompted by fear of the Ebola virus. The country’s tourism industry is organized through several state-owned tourism bureaus and, according to published reports, officials have set an ambitious goal of welcoming one million visitors by 2017. Some of the tours origi...
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...ne way or another, which does help as well.” Laukaitis adds that he can balance work and travel in large part because the company is online (as opposed to bricks and mortar) coupled with the fact that he shares corporate responsibilities with a pair of business partners.
A diverse roster of like-minded, mostly millennials, comprises the company team, largely from the United States, India and Lithuania. Not surprisingly, perhaps, they also travel, taking an annual group trip. However, for Laukaitis, perhaps no other experience will be like the one he describes as his eye-opening journey inside North Korea. He’s quoted as saying, “All the stories from people who have managed to escape the country, all the propaganda about Korea 's leaders, military, the political situation and many other things fascinated me...There was no way I was not going to see it for myself."
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