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North Korea Opens Tourist Office In Moscow To Attract Russian Visitors

A view of the Pyongyang skyline at dusk

North Korea has opened a tourist office in Moscow to encourage Russians to travel to the reclusive country, promising that its nuclear weapons will keep all visitors safe.

North Korean officials on August 24 told reporters a visit to the country would provide tourists with an environment “safer than an evening walk in London.”

"North Korea is one of the safest countries of the world,” embassy official Kim Seng Hung said.

“It ensures comprehensive security of tourists who abide by the law and order of the country,” he said, adding that the country’s nuclear weapons "fully guarantee security and peace on the Korean Peninsula."

North Korea is one of the most isolated countries in the world, and tensions with neighbors and the United States have been high as Pyongyang continues to develop its nuclear and ballistic-missile programs, which have been banned by United Nations resolutions.

A North Korean travel official sought to reassure visitors they would not suffer the same fate as U.S. tourist Otto Warmbier, who was sentenced to 15 years in jail in North Korea, returned to the United States in a coma, and died shortly thereafter.

"We think any tourist should respect and abide by the law of the country he or she is visiting. [Warmbier] intentionally breached our law,” the official said.

The United States has instituted a travel ban on visits to North Korea by American tourists to begin later this month.

Based on reporting by Interfax, Reuters, and The Moscow Times