IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

North Korea Closes Borders to Tourists, Citing Ebola Threat

They have only a few thousand visitors each year, but North Korea has decided to close its borders anyway, to prevent Ebola from entering.

To date, there hasn't been a diagnosed case of Ebola in North Korea -- a nation that receives only a few thousand visitors each year -- but that hasn't stopped the country from reportedly closing its borders to all foreign tourists, citing the threat of the virus.

One tour guide told the New York Times that the North Koreans had originally required anyone who traveled to West Africa to provide medical certification that they were Ebola-free. "And then [Thursday] they just said no foreign tourists at all," said Gareth Johnson of the Chinese tourism company Young Pioneer Tours.

The news is also surprising to some North Korea watchers because of the country's recent efforts to attract more wealthy tourists. About 6,000 Western tourists visit North Korea each year according to the website NK News. The U.S. State Department has warned Americans against traveling to the country because of several high-profile detentions of American tourists.