September 25, 2023
What If?

What if North Korea keeps its COVID border controls for years to come?

Kim Jong Un may see little value in allowing outsiders to enter again, even if to the detriment of his people

Editor’s note: What If? is an NK News series that provides readers with thoughtful, informed speculation about North Korea’s future. Articles in this series draw on verified facts and rigorous analysis to explore hypothetical scenarios in the years and decades ahead. 

It's a sweltering June morning at the North Korean border in 2028. Birds chatter, trees rustle in the wind. And across the Yalu River, Chinese tourists peer into a country that they still cannot visit, a place caught in a time warp due to its extended self-isolation from the world.