North Korea insurance – quick facts
- Travel within the country is severely restricted
- International health insurance in North Korea is essential, but be aware that evacuation is difficult to arrange
- Cover can be arranged on a case by case basis
The right cover is vital
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 (DPKR) is still almost entirely closed; the country admits fewer than 2,000 Westerners every year. Though there have been improvements in relations between North and South Korea, there is a potential for this to suddenly change, so visitors should keep updated on the political and security situation.
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.
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.
The Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK regularly updates its advice to British travellers about immediate risks.