North Korea Mysteriously Shuts Down Its Beer Festival | WVIA

North Korea Mysteriously Shuts Down Its Beer Festival

Last Updated by Elise Hu on

If an event is branded as annual but it happens only once, can it still be called annual? This is the case for Pyongyang's "annual" Taedonggang Beer Festival, the second of which was slated to take place during August.

China-based tour company Koryo Tours, which is among the go-to tour groups organizing trips into North Korea, writes on its blog that it was "informed" North Korean organizers have canceled the event.

"The reason for the cancellation is unclear and we don't expect full information to be forthcoming but it is possibly down to the ongoing drought in the country that has caused a great deal of trouble," Koryo writes.

According to Koryo, last year's event was a good opportunity to try some local brews and mingle with locals. A menu from the 2016 fest shows several types of draft beers, fried chicken and mutton on a stick available for purchase. North Korean alcohol is a curiosity for many connoisseurs around the globe, especially given its announcement last year that its scientists have invented "hangover-free booze."

While it may suffer the label of "Hermit Kingdom," North Korea does want tourism, offering surfing, rice planting and history tours. As Hawaii Public Radio found, "You can join the 'Liberation from the Japanese Empire' package tour — 8 days and 7 nights next month over the dates marking Japan's surrender in World War Two."

But forget about it if you're an American passport holder. The U.S. State Department will announce a travel ban to North Korea for all Americans later this week. It follows the detainment of 22-year-old college student Otto Warmbier, who returned home last month in a coma and died days later.

Over the past 10 years, at least 16 Americans have been detained in North Korea.

Jihye Lee contributed to this post.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

pbs.pngnpr.pngpbskids.png
listenlive_fulllength.jpg cove_spacer.png
Now Playing on WVIA-FM

        

nprnews5.jpg

Peace At Hand? Korean Leaders Meet For Historic Border Handshake

North Korea's Kim Jong Un and South Koreas Moon Jae-in met at the border village of Panmunjom for the first inter...

Militia Leader Who Tried to Bomb a Remote Federal Cabin Pleads Guilty

A Utah man who the government said tried to blow up a Bureau of Land Management cabin in Arizona has pleaded guilty...

Navigating Campus For The 'Not Rich': Students Launch A Crowdsourced Guide

At the University of Michigan, two students have created an online guidebook with tips for other low- and middle...

IAAF Sets New Limits On Testosterone Levels In Women

Track and field's world governing body announced new restrictions on female athletes who naturally produce higher...

Meet The Man On A Quest To Upend 1 Corner Of The Student Loan Industry

For years even the most predatory student loans have been impossible to default on, but one lawyer has discovered a...

healthybites_sidebar2.png reserve3.png

plugplay_square.png

artscene_header.png