Professional snowboarders withdraw from North Korea trip amid news of DPRK nuclear test
In light of the recent news of the alleged test of a nuclear bomb by the DPRK government, Snowboarder magazine and its group of professional snowboarders have made a last-minute decision to not participate in the trip to the Masik Pass organized by Uri Tours. The rest of the group, including the American travelers in the group, have assembled in Beijing and will embark on their trip to North Korea as planned.
“For us, this trip has never been about politics. It’s about reaching people in one of the most isolated countries in the world and being involved in a neutral activity in order to further the lines of communication. I still believe in these efforts, despite the political situation. For us, it’s about the people, most of whom have nothing to do with these events,” says Markos Aristides Kern, German, one of the organizers of the Ski North Korea project.
Andrea Lee, American and CEO of Uri Tours, says “Political tension is part of our daily business. During our 15 years of operations, we’ve endured many cycles of U.S.-DPRK tension. But the reality on the ground has not changed. Tourists are treated well and tourism continues to develop in a positive way notwithstanding the events we hear in the media. In fact, many Americans participate in our tours and they are welcomed just like any other tourist.”