For the first time, holders of an Israeli passport will now be able to obtain tourist visas to North Korea - with official North Korean sanction.
According to Globes, Rimon Tours subsidiary Tarbutu will be offering visits for Israelis to the totalitarian country, starting with four organized tours in April and May.
Figures from Tarbutu indicated that only 100 Israelis have visited North Korea on organized tours thus far, and that visas have been granted only indirectly via parties in China. Now, however, North Korea will be accepting Israeli tourist visas directly.
"North Korea is without question one of the most fascinating countries in the world today,” said Tarbutu program manager Haim Peres. “It is a closed country cut off from the world, including its neighbors. More is unknown than known about the country."
While the Israeli Foreign Ministry noted that there is “no specific ban” on travelling to North Korea, it urged Israelis to employ “extreme caution.”
"There is no travel warning for North Korea, and no specific ban on traveling there. We of course recommend extreme caution, since there are no diplomatic relations with North Korea, but it is not classified as an enemy country."
Tarbutu sought to downplay political events, such as North Korea’s ballistic missile test this morning, as cause for concern. "North Korea is proud about having one of the world's lowest crime rates, and tourists feel very safe there," the company claimed.