PYONGYANG – A Chinese tourist group made up of 35 government officials and tourists arrived in Pyongyang on Monday, becoming the first of its kind to visit the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) since China granted destination status to its neighbor in February.
The group, headed by Vice President of the Chinese Travel Bureau Zhu Shanzhong, was warmly welcomed by the tourism department of the DPRK on their arrival.
Kang Chel Su, vice president of the DPRK’S Korea International Travel Company, said in a speech at the airport that the traditional DPRK-China friendship, fostered by the older generation of the revolutionaries of the two countries, has grown to a new level.
Tourism cooperation will further strengthen the DPRK-China friendship, he said.
Zhu said the DPRK is a beautiful country and many Chinese tourists have long been yearning for it.
There will be more and more Chinese tourists coming to the DPRK from now on, he said.
Some 360 Chinese tourists from the same group will arrive in Pyongyang in the following days.
Members of the tourist group come from Chinese cities and provinces including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Liaoning Province.
The DPRK has been receiving Chinese tourists since 1988 and as many as 20,000 Chinese tourists visit Pyongyang each year.