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Why we won’t travel to North Korea

Everywhere Once

North Korean Painting of Kim Il Sung

Several weeks ago we wondered aloud whether ethical considerations should factor into our travel decisions. That post prompted a lively debate that helped us refine our thinking on the subject. Since then, fellow travel blogger Wandering Earl has written several thought provoking articles leading up to, and including, his recent trip to North Korea.

We agree with Earl that under normal circumstances the conscientious traveler is a positive force in the world. At our best we are ambassadors, educators, volunteers and economic engines for struggling communities. And it is for those reasons that we encourage people to travel freely and widely. But we also know that while those things are often true, they are not always true.

North Korea stands out as one glaring example of a country that is particularly immune to the benefits travelers normally bring. It’s also a place where tourism has the potential to cause…

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