BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) — South and North Korea participated in a recent cultural tourism festival in China amid growing speculation about Beijing’s moves to support the North through tourism sector cooperation, sources said Friday.
The 2018 Northeast Asia Cultural Tourism Gourmet Festival, which was held in Hunchun, northeast China, from Aug. 3-6 drew participants from China, South Korea, North Korea, Russia, Japan and Mongolia, featuring about 200 kinds of cuisine.
“The Hunchun festival was held with the participation of China and the two Koreas, excluding the United States. This suggests a great deal to North Korea’s tourism and economic cooperation amid a detente on the Korean Peninsula,” a source said.
Following March’s North Korea-China summit, Beijing has eased regulations on North-bound travels in Hunchun and other northeastern border cities. As a result, Chinese tourists can now go to North Korea to enjoy sightseeing by obtaining a single-use border pass from a tourism office in Hunchun.
The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, introduced Hunchun as an economic hub of northeast China in a front-page article on Friday and relayed the authorities’ intent to grow the city into a key location linking China, North Korea and Russia.