Business booming despite danger

Three US citizens have been detained by North Korea in the last eight months while on tourist trips. The latest being Mr Jeffrey Fowle who was arrested last month.

Despite the risks, tour operators say business to North Korea is booming. Tourism is one of the few sources for foreign currency it relies on to overcome US sanctions. Travel agencies estimate that as many as 6,000 Westerners visit the country every year, compared to just 700 a decade ago.

Most are adventure-seekers curious about life behind the last slither of the iron curtain, and ignore critics who say their dollars are propping up a repressive regime.

The majority of tourists to North Korea are from neighbouring China, the country's main ally.

"People are people," said Mr Keith Ballard, an American tourist currently in North Korea. "I can take politics out of it. Some people said why would you even go there to support that government. I said, 'hey it's basically just tourism'." 
- Reuters.