Chinese tour operators have been told to stop all trips to North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang.
Dandong Tourism Bureau of the border city of Dandong informed its tourism industry on Tuesday, just a day before President Trump’s first official visit to China.
With the issue of North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons expected to be a key point of discussion between President Xi Jinping and Trump, some speculate that the decision is connected to possible further sanctions against North Korea.
“[The decision is] much more likely to be connected to increasing sanctions against North Korea.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens once Trump leaves China.
Maybe they will loosen the rules but it’s very hard to say.
This is all connected to the growing tensions.”
— Reuter’s Dandong-based tourism source
According to a South Korean think-tank, the Korea Maritime Institute, tourism brings in approximately 44 million dollars in annual revenue for the North.
The think-tank also estimates that around 80% of all foreign tourists to North Korea are Chinese.
The halt on tourism to North Korea follows the Chinese government’s decision to stop textile imports from and limit oil supply to the hermit kingdom.
There is no official statement or explanation from Dandong Tourism Bureau or other Chinese government sources.