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ECCENTRIC N. KOREA WINE AND BEER TOUR CANCELLED DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS

By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET

28-11-2019



The British company which has previously marketed a 5-day beer and wine tour to the world’s most secretive state North Korea has cancelled the trip due to safety concerns from the local tour operator.

Originally scheduled to take place from 15 to 20 March 2020, guests were supposed to celebrate St Patrick’s day in Pyongyang.

Organising company Smiling Grape Adventure Tours, based in Cambridgeshire, said press interests on the trip has sounded alarm to the North Korean tour operator which decided to call it off.

The company is now marketing a tour to Turkmenistan to mark St Patrick’s day instead.

The original North Korean tour would take guests to pubs, bars and microbreweries as well as a vineyard where visitors can try the local wines.

The tour was said to have secured permission from North Korean leader Kim Jung-un, but British Foreign Office warned about the risks of travelling to North Korea.

“Join us to discover what the beer is like in one of the most secretive nations of the earth as we celebrate St Patrick's Day by visiting the famous microbreweries, pubs, bars, and restaurants in Pyongyang!” said the tour site’s original advert.

“We will also be showing you the must-see sights such as the mausoleum, the Korean war museum, the DMZ, the mysterious Pyongyang Metro and Kim Il Sung Square. Another tour highlight will be a visit to a vineyard in Sariwon with a tasting of North Korean wines. We will be some of the first Westerners to be invited here so join us for this historic moment!”

The now cancelled North Korea tour was priced at £1,295, land only, and was supposed to depart from China.

(the writer can be contacted at: info@thewinechronicle.com)

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