As Covid instances surged in China, social media posts misleadingly claimed that North Korea joined a string of nations in saying journey restrictions on guests from the world’s most populous nation. The posts the truth is share outdated journey recommendation from the Chinese language international ministry from January 2020, when Pyongyang suspended journey with China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. North Korea watchers stated there had been no change to that coverage, as of January 2023. Journey businesses working in North Korea stated that entry to the secretive nation was banned for all guests, not simply Chinese language nationals.

“After China lifted its entry and exit restrictions, North Korea instantly banned Chinese language folks from getting into the nation,” reads a simplified Chinese language-language tweet posted on December 28.

“Even North Koreans in China need to quarantine for 30 days after they return to the nation.”

The tweet reveals a screenshot of a journey advisory that claims: “North Korea / Chinese language nationals are quickly prohibited from getting into the nation, and all latest arrivals, together with North Koreans, might be topic to a 30-day quarantine and remark interval.”

Screenshot of the deceptive tweet, taken on January 10, 2023.

Greater than a dozen nations, together with america, Canada and India, introduced travel restrictions on arrivals from China following Beijing’s resolution to elevate years of lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing.

Hospitals throughout China have been overwhelmed by an explosion of infections following the scrapping of its “zero-Covid” coverage, which largely stored the virus at bay however tanked the economic system and sparked widespread protests.

The journey advisory was shared in comparable posts on Facebook, Twitter and Chinese language platforms Douyin, Weibo and China Gate.

Varied Chinese language-language information retailers additionally misleadingly claimed that North Korea had issued a recent ban on Chinese language guests following the Covid surge, together with here and here.

Previous journey recommendation

Key phrase searches of the journey advisory discovered the equivalent textual content in a doc on China’s Nationwide Immigration Administration’s website.

Whereas the doc doesn’t characteristic a publication date, the identical journey recommendation was printed in a Chinese language international ministry statement on January 30, 2020.

The ministry’s announcement got here after North Korea reportedly suspended all flights and trains in and overseas in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Screenshot of the journey recommendation printed by the Chinese language international ministry on January 30, 2020

North Korea watchers stated that Pyongyang’s ban on Chinese language travellers — in addition to arrivals from all different nations — was nonetheless in drive in January 2023.

Dean J. Ouellette, vice director on the Kyungnam College Institute for Far Japanese Research in South Korea confirmed that North Korea closed its borders to worldwide arrivals, together with its personal residents residing overseas, from January 2020.

As of January 2023, the British international ministry’s journey recommendation to North Korea says: “All air and practice routes into and out of North Korea are quickly suspended as of 31 January 2020.”

Journey businesses that function in North Korea stated that its borders remained closed to all.

“The present coverage is that nobody is allowed to enter the nation,” an official at China-based Young Pioneer Tours instructed AFP on January 4.

A consultant for Koryo Tours, one other Pyongyang-approved China-based journey company, additionally dismissed the declare circulating on social media.

“North Korea has been closed to all entrants, together with [North] Koreans, since January 2020,” the spokesperson instructed AFP on January 4.

“This [claim] is irrelevant as no one can enter the nation anyway.”

Nam Sung-wook, a professor at Korea College’s division of Korean unification, diplomacy and safety, stated there have been exceptions to North Korea’s journey ban, equivalent to for “just a few Chinese language drivers” who have been allowed to enter the nation for enterprise functions.

North Korea reportedly resumed trade with China in June 2020.

Nonetheless, Nam instructed AFP on January 6 that Pyongyang’s ban on worldwide arrivals was nonetheless in drive.

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