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Friday 19 September 2014

North Korea travel app provides a look into the reclusive nation

Aishling Phelan

Published 07/05/2014 | 09:57

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) guides the multiple-rocket launching drill of women's sub-units under KPA Unit 851, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)

A travel app has just been launched that allows users to explore the world’s most secretive nation – North Korea.

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It promises to provide access to thousands of never-before-seen photographs and perspectives of North Korean daily life.

For the first time, foreigners can explore the mysterious country from the comfort of their own home.

The unofficial app, North Korea Travel, will highlight how much of North Korea, largely off-limits to foreign journalists, is actually open to outsiders.

A tour guide with over 10 years experience of North Korea has provided insider tips on every location in the app.

Each area has been GPS mapped by a DPRK satellite imagery expert to allow users to dissect the world’s least-visited country.

The most comprehensive guide to North Korea ever written, it includes a unique tour building and price comparison function.

The app illustrates the pockets of the country, previously thought to be off-limits to foreigners, which are open for business.

Tourists from outside the communist bloc were first permitted to visit the country in the late 1980s.

Somewhere between 5,000 ¬ 6,000 western visitors per year cross the North Korean border.

These numbers are small compared to the vast crowds of people visiting other states in the region such as South Korea, China and Japan.

Today at least 25 Western companies offer tourism to North Korea.

The app was developed by British based travel technology startup ‘UniquelyTravel’ in conjunction with Magora Systems – a Russia based boutique software partner.

The app includes a phrasebook, dictionary and culture guides written by leading experts.

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