North Korea reopens borders to citizens living abroad
The move marks a significant shift after years of stringent border controls imposed during the COVID pandemic.
North Korea has moved to further open up from strict COVID-19 pandemic-era isolation, allowing the return of its citizens who were stranded abroad, according to state media KCNA.
The move marks a significant shift after years of stringent border controls imposed during the global health crisis.
According to a statement released by the State Emergency Epidemic Prevention Headquarters and reported by KCNA, this decision aligns with the country's revised approach to managing the epidemic, prompted by the "eased worldwide pandemic situation."
"Those returned will be put under proper medical observation at quarantine wards for a week," the statement said.
North Korea shut its borders in early 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but there have been increasing signals the country has moved towards reopening.
Chinese and Russian officials attended a military parade in Pyongyang last month — the first foreign dignitaries to visit the country in years.
Last week, a delegation of athletes was allowed to attend a taekwondo competition in Kazakhstan, while state-run Air Koryo made its first international commercial flight in three years.
China's Foreign Ministry said it had approved restarting commercial air travel between Beijing and Pyongyang.
Cargo train and ship traffic has also slowly increased over the past year.