Published: 17:26, February 21, 2020 | Updated: 07:33, June 6, 2023
Tour firm: DPRK to cancel April marathon over coronavirus
By Reuters

Photo taken on Sept 8, 2018 shows an avenue decorated with national flags in Pyongyang, capital of the DPRK. (JIANG YAPING / XINHUA)

SEOUL - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has called off its Pyongyang Marathon scheduled for April after imposing a border lockdown and travel curbs to prevent a coronavirus outbreak, a Western tour company said on Friday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it had no indications of the virus having spread to the DPRK.

In an online statement, Young Pioneer Tours said, “We have received confirmation from our travel partners in North Korea that the Pyongyang Marathon held in April has been canceled due to the current borders of the DPRK being closed.” The DPRK is also referred to as North Korea.

But Pyongyang’s Autumn Marathon set for September is still scheduled to go ahead, added the company, which is one of several foreign operators that runs tours to the DPRK.

READ MORE: Tour groups: DPRK bars foreign tourists amid virus concerns

Despite a ban on foreign tourism over the virus, the country has announced plans to stage its “Mass Games”, featuring thousands of dancers, gymnasts and singers, as soon as August, tour companies have said.

Among its precautions, the DPRK has set up month-long quarantines and sent aid workers to its border with China.