Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ferry service opens between North Korea and Russia

The last thing that anyone ever expected to come out of the tensions between the West, Russia, and North Korea was tourism. But, yes, it is officially happening. A Russian company known as InvestStroyTrest owns a ship called the Man Gyong Bong that functions as a transportation service for cargo and tourists. The company's most prominent passengers include Russians and representatives from Chinese tourist companies, but could expect Chinese tourists and North Koreans with jobs located in Russia in the future. This no doubt has political ramifications as North Korea and Russia are economic allies and will go so far as to support each other politically. It also seems to be a sort of odd and somewhat cheesy solution to the fact that Russia and North Korea have agreed to increase trade and build railways to make it easier and efficient to do so. Japan used to be a stop on the Man Gyong Bong's route, but ever since the first nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang in 2006, Japan has cut off services and continually expresses concern over the transportation service. While this whole idea seems incredibly corrupt, there are definitely some nice assets to the ferry service. This includes forty cabins, a restaurant, two bars, slot machines, a shop no doubt for souvenirs bordering on the side of propaganda, a sauna, and a room for karaoke. There is also room for fifteen hundred tons of cargo. The shipment of goods by land from Vladivostok, Russia to Rajin, North Korea is reported to take twenty two hours. The purpose of the trip is for the tour to Vladivostok to leave a mark on Chinese tourists. As noted, the Russians can take their services to Rajin in North Korea, which is part of the Rason special economic zone, so they need to be invited. 

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