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World Digest: North Korea to allow more U.S. tourists in 2010

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Friday, January 15, 2010

NORTH KOREA

More U.S. tourists to be allowed in 2010

North Korea will allow more U.S. tourists to visit this year, apparently seeking alternative sources of hard currency as economic sanctions bite deeper.

The Pyongyang government permits American groups to visit only for the Arirang mass games, when tens of thousands of impeccably choreographed gymnasts and performers create colorful mosaics and slogans with painted cards. This year, the shows are scheduled to begin in August.

However, Pyongyang will now allow visits throughout the year, according to Beijing-based Koryo Tours, which says it escorts about 80 percent of U.S. travelers to the North. Koryo took about 280 of them into the country last year.

It is not clear whether American tourists will still be limited to four-night stays and whether they now will be allowed to travel by train.

-- Financial Times

JORDAN

Bombing targets Israeli diplomats

A roadside bomb exploded Thursday near a convoy of Israeli diplomats traveling through Jordan on their way home for the weekend, but no one was hurt, officials in both countries said. Israeli officials said Ambassador Daniel Nevo was not in the convoy.

It was the first time a roadside bomb has been used in an attack in Jordan, where foreigners have been the targets of shootings and suicide bombings in recent years. Use of the device is widespread in neighboring Iraq.


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