Beijing: North Korea, a close ally of China, has permitted for the first time a tourist train from across the border to carry Chinese tourists to some of its scenic spots.
A tourist train in northeast China`s Jilin province went into service yesterday, offering trips between the city of Tumen and Chilbo Mountain in the neighbouring Democratic People`s Republic of Korea (DPRK), state-run Xinhua news agency said.
A total of 65 Chinese tourists took the train into the DPRK (North Korea) for its first trip and will spend three days and four nights in the country, Zhao Renjie, deputy director of the Tumen Municipal Bureau of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
The group will visit Mount Chilbo and the city of Chongjin in Hamgyong, and hot spring spas in Kyongsong County during their stay, Zhao said.
The train, which will make one trip between the cities each week, went into service as part of Jilin`s efforts to promote cultural exchanges with the DPRK, the news agency added.
The province launched a one-day walking tour of Namyang in May 2008.
China decided to grant approved outbound destination status to the DPRK in September 2008. The first Chinese group toured the DPRK in 2010.