North Korea opens up for golf tourney
Cash-strapped North Korea is inviting foreign amateur players for its first ever golf tournament on a course used by all-powerful leader Kim Jong Il, travel agencies said Thursday.
The golf open will take place in April, London-based Lupine Travel said on its website. The price of a five-day tour from April 26 is $1,039 per person.
"The North Korean government has proposed the amateur event," Qu Chengguo, vice president of Chinese travel agency Dandong CTS, told AFP.
"We still need to sort things out with North Korea. As far as I know, if there's no change, the competition will open as planned," Qu said.
Dandong CTS and Lupine Travel both offer tourist trips to the isolated country.
The event will be held on a golf course where Kim supposedly recorded 11 holes-in-one for a 18-hole score of 38, according to Dandong CTS.
The par-72 course west of Pyongyang is the only golf course managed by North Korea for its privileged few and foreign visitors.
The country's other course, in the scenic Mount Kumgang resort, is for South Korean and foreign tourists.
The golf club in the resort has been abandoned since South Korea suspended cross-border tours in July 2008 after a North Korean soldier shot dead a Seoul housewife who strayed into a restricted zone.
The jointly-run resort once earned the impoverished communist
state millions of dollars a year.