North Korea to launch medical tourism, targeting China visitors

North Korea plans to branch out into medical tourism next year, offering foreign visitors, most likely from China, treatments including cataract surgery, dental implants and therapy for tumors.

The ruling party’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported on Friday the recent launch of the “Treatment Tourism Exchange Corporation”, aimed at capitalizing on the “rising demand for tourism, including medical care, in line with an international trend”.

The new state entity will operate health clinics near hot springs, whose mineral waters are said to help treat neuralgia and arthritis, as well as heart and skin ailments.

Private tourism is one of the few remaining areas of business not blocked by sanctions imposed upon North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

As many as 350,000 Chinese tourists have visited North Korea this year, potentially netting the authorities up to $175 million, according to some analysts.

Last month North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, visited a hot spring resort nearing completion in the central alpine town of Yangdok, one of the major construction projects at the heart of his drive to build a “self-reliant” economy.

(Source: Reuters)

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