LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

North Korea Mysteriously Shuts Down Its Beer Festival

North Koreans enjoy beer and snacks last August during the Taedonggang Beer Festival in Pyongyang. The festival, the first of its kind in the country, was held as a promotional event for the locally brewed beer. Korean signs in the background read "Our country is the best."

If an event is branded as annual but it only happens 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 the month of 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/.

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org