North Korea Bans Tourists, Fearing Deadly Outbreak

The Hermit Kingdom is a little behind the times on their outbreak fears.

North Korea bans foreigners from Pyongyang marathon over Ebola

North Korea, living true to its nickname as the Hermit Kingdom, is rather concerned about Ebola spreading across borders into its country. That’s why it’s barred foreigners from participating in the annual Pyongyang marathon.

Of course, most countries stopped jumping on the Ebola panic bandwagon months ago.

The marathon, which is popular among tourists, is set to take place in April. It has happened every year since 1981 but this year, the isolated nation is doing things a little differently. 

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"We are sorry to announce that we have been informed by our partners in North Korea that no foreign runners – amateur or professional – will be allowed to participate in this year's Pyongyang Marathon," Koryo Tours, a travel agency said.

The banning of foreigners taking part in the marathon was confirmed by Chinese media, according to the BBC.

Last year was the first year the annual Pyongyang marathon finally allowed foreigners to compete in the race. This year, though, it doesn’t seem like it'll happen again.

Evidently, North Koreans are weary about Ebola fears, enforcing a 21-day quarantine since October for any foreign diplomats who enter the country.

It’s been reported that Ebola – which initially spread from west Africa – has killed over 9,000 people around the world. But none of them have been in North Korea.

Poverty has already given their supreme leader a bout of insomnia; perhaps an Ebola outbreak, along with an infrastructure that would struggle with a health epidemic, is too much of a risk.

Better safe than sorry even if it foreigners can’t run in this marathon.

Check Out: Life In North Korea Via Instagram