Headed to North Korea

Paul Karl Lukacs, the entertainment lawyer who chucked it all last June to travel in Asia and blog about it, has a new itinerary. He's now in Beijing but leaves soon for four days in North Korea. He explains in a Q-and-A with himself at his Knife Tricks blog. Excerpt:

Is it legal for you to travel to North Korea?

Yes. Ordinary tourist expenditures by U.S. citizens are expressly exempted from the United States' economic sanctions against North Korea. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 31, Section 500.563.

Donít the North Koreans forbid Americans from entering?

Usually, but the restrictions are eased during Mass Games.

What are Mass Games?

A gymnastics exposition extolling the virtues of collectivism and juche (Korean self-reliance). Thousands of athletes (pictured), principally high school-aged, perform elaborately choreographed, multi-media productions praising the Motherland, the Great Leader (Kim Il-sung) and the Dear Leader (Kim Jong-il).

That sounds like something out of Soviet Russia.

As the press often notes, North Korea and Cuba are the only two truly Communist nations left in the world.

He had to agree not to write about the trip for a print publication, but plans to blog when he gets back out.


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