North Korea insurance should be a top priority in any plan to visit this mysterious land. Probably one of the most secretive nations in the world, North Korea presents significant challenges to anyone who wishes to visit or work here.
North Korea insurance – quick facts
- Travel within the country is severely restricted
- International health insurance in North Korea is essential, along with cover for emergency evacuation
- Insults or jokes about the North Korean leadership are severely frowned upon
Get the right insurance for North Korea
- Due to limited medical facilities, specialist North Korea insurance is advised for visitors and expats
Possible problems in North Korea
North Korea is still almost entirely untouched by tourism; the country admits fewer than 2,000 Westerners every year. Most British nationals who visit North Korea are part of an organised tour and most visits are trouble-free. However, all visitors must have an official guide at all times and the instructions provided by the guide must be followed to the letter.
Foreigners have been detained and even shot for unauthorised entry into the country. It is essential to stay within permitted areas and follow procedures and protocols. Tourists are not permitted to drive, and foreigners who live in North Korea must pass a local driving test.
Visitors should make sure they are not seen as critical of the country’s political system, leaders, or members of their family. The crime rate in North Korea is low, although there is petty crime in the airport in Pyongyang and in market places. Keep your belongings and travel documents secure at all times.
Medical facilities are primitive, but there is an English-speaking hospital in Pyongyang, which is available to foreigners. Do not drink untreated water. Anyone showing symptoms of serious contagious diseases may be put under strict quarantine. Medical evacuation is difficult to arrange from North Korea.
During the rainy season, from late June until August, heavy rainfall and cyclones can cause flooding and landslides resulting in loss of life. Stay informed about regional weather forecasts and avoid affected areas.
Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice
British nationals resident in or travelling to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) who are not with tour groups should inform the British Embassy in Pyongyang about their travel plans prior to, or on arrival.