September 21, 2020

At hotspot for Chinese tourists, dark tales of N.Korean defection

Popular destination for tourists, mythologizing is also popular spot for border-crossers

CHANGBAI MOUNTAIN, China – Amid the constant bustle of tour groups, there is no mistaking this scenic mountain’s status as a major tourist draw.

Chinese and Korean-Chinese flock to this peak, spilt in two by the North Korea-China border, for its spectacular scenery and hot springs. To North Koreans on the other side of the national boundary, Mount Paektu, as they call it, is the revered, if fictional, birthplace of late leader Kim Jong Il.