N. Korean Provocations Impair S. Korea's Border Tourism | Be Korea-savvy

N. Korean Provocations Impair S. Korea’s Border Tourism

The Third Tunnel of Aggression, an underground tunnel built by the North. (image: Wikimedia)

The Third Tunnel of Aggression, an underground tunnel built by the North. (image: Wikimedia)

PAJU/YEONCHEON, South Korea, July 14 (Korea Bizwire) – Security tourism in South Korea’s northwestern border areas has suffered a blow due to cooling inter-Korean relations amid a series of incessant North Korean provocations, including missile tests. 

The number of tourists visiting security attractions, including observatories and underground tunnels dug by the North, has been decreasing every year, the border towns of Paju and Yencheon, north of Seoul, said Thursday. 

According to a Paju tally, the number of local and foreign visitors during the first half of this year stood at 265,696, including 71,518 Chinese tourists, down 36,762, or 12.2 percent, from the 302,457 during the same period of 2014. 

In particular, the Chinese figure was a 34.7 percent drop from 109,585 in the first six months of 2014, the tally said. 

Yeoncheon was not an exception. 

The monthly number of visitors to the town’s Taepung Observatory, where tourists are able to look at the North Korean area, plunged to 785 on average during the January-April period this year from 1,710 and 1,570 during the same period in 2014 and 2015, respectively, according to Yencheon data. 

Such North Korean provocations as land mine attacks and shelling in the Demilitarized Zone last August, its fourth nuclear test in January, and the recent discharge of border dam water without notice are believed to have exerted a bad influence on border tourism more noticeably this year, officials here said.


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