South Korea -> Kaesong (Gaeseong)
Kaesong (Gaeseong)     
Hwanghaenam-Do Province

To see a North Korean brochure on Kaesong in Adobe pdf click on this hyperlink “Kaesong

Kaesong, called Gaeseong by the South Koreans, was the capital of the Koryo dynasty from 918-1392 AD. Koryo was the first unified state on the Korean peninsula. The name Kaesong means the opening of the castle gate. It was also called Songak, Kaegyong, Hwangdo and Kaeju. It still has many historical relics and sites from the Koryo period, although many are just ruins or not readily accessible, including Manwoldae, the old royal palace during Koryo.

Kaesong is located just north of the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) in North Korea, 47 mi./70 km. from Seoul by road or rail, although all visitors to date go by road . The road crosses the DMZ and goes through checkpoints on both sides of the DMZ. From August, 1945 until the Korean War it was part of South Korea, lying south of the 38th parallel. When the dust settled at the end of the war it was in North Korean territory and was closed to visitors from the South.

This changed in December, 2007 when Kaesong was opened up for special day-tours from Seoul operated by Hyundai Asan. Anyone can now visit "North Korea", meaning Kaesong, any day of the week except Mondays. These tours go from 6:00 am to about 6:00 pm and cost about $225-250 per person, including a shuttle bus from Seoul to the starting point, depending on the day of the week and the season. Unfortunately at present they are only in Korean, although we can provide tour information in English. To see a flyer on Kaesong tours in Adobe pdf click on this hyperlink “Kaesong Tour Flyer

Asia Pacific Travel, Ltd. is a General Sales Agent for Hyundai Asan and can book these tours for clients. Please note, however that they are very popular with South Koreans so you need to book weeks, if not months, in advance.

In addition, in the last few years the Hyundai Asan company of South Korea has negotiated with the North Korean government to establish a special economic zone in Kaesong, called the Kaesong Industrial Complex. The idea is for South Korean and other foreign companies to set up factories in this special area using the less expensive North Korean labor force. At present 72 factories have already been set up, using over 30,000 North Korean workers, and are producing goods that are shipped to South Korea for distribution and sale. This is significant in that this means there are now daily crossings of the DMZ by hundreds of mostly South Korean business people. At present these crossing are done by road, but in December, 2007, a newly renovated rail line, the Gyeonggui Line that historically went all the way up through Pyongyang along the west coast to Sinuiju on the Chinese border, was reopened between Kaesong and Seoul to facilitate the flow of freight and eventually passengers. If this link is completely opened it would provide a direct rail link from South Korea to Europe via rail for at least freight, cutting the time to ship goods from Busan to Hamburg from over 25 days by sea to about 9 days. Longer term there are also hopes for the reopening of regular rail service along the east coast of Korea that would link up to the Russian Trans-Siberian railroad.

To see a North Korean brochure on Kaesong in Adobe pdf click on this hyperlink “Kaesong

Asia Pacific Travel, Ltd. • P.O. Box 350 • Kenilworth, IL 60043-0350 USA
Tel: 1-(847) 251-6400 • Toll Free: 1-(800) 262-6420 • Fax: 1-(847) 256-5601 is a registered trademarks of Asia Pacific Travel, Ltd.


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