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North Korea announced that it will reopen its border with South Korea “to allow periodic family reunions and group visits by tourists from the South.”
Although sources like the NY Times quietly mention that this morning’s announcement also condemned joint military exercises (“obviously maneuvers for a war of aggression”) of the U.S. and South Korea, stating that payback could be “annihilating,” I think we can all look past that bunch of creepy threat stuff to see the positive:
“The North said it would allow reunions of Korean families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, with visits taking place at Mount Kumgang, or Diamond Mountain, during the three-day Harvest Moon Festival, when Koreans traditionally visit their hometowns. This year the festival begins Oct. 3.”
Families together at last. Incredible. Beautiful. This seems like a natural priority for the North Koreans, considering leader Kim Jong Il’s stress of importance on the family unit and warm, healthy familial relations:
But let’s not forget the incredibly exciting opportunity of increased tourism in the Northern region!
Regular visits to Mount Kumgang on North Korea’s eastern coast will start “as soon as possible,” the official North Korean news agency reported, as well as visits to the ancient border town of Kaesong.”
We’re sure peeps are dying to get back up to those beautiful hotspots, and will quickly forget some of the ugly little snafus from tourism’s past:
“Programs allowing tour groups — predominantly South Koreans — to visit the North were expanded in October 2007 but were stopped last year when a South Korean tourist at Kumgang who apparently entered a restricted zone was fatally shot by a North Korean guard.”
What are we all waiting for?? SOMEBODY START PACKIN’ UP THE RV!!!