I like the quote Tad Farrell uses, but just to be clear, I am not opposed to tourism in North Korea and I support more interactions by people who want to engage with North Koreans now. I'm just saying that I won't go there as long as the current oppressive state is in charge. Anything I learn about North Korea is focused on helping people to escape or to resettle when they successfully escape.
From the NK News article:
Those who are against travel to North Korea tend to focus on the moral implications and belief that visitors could be fueling the government’s sometimes illicit activities. For his part, Casey Lartigue Jr. says that because of the high price, he won’t go. That’s because he points out that the $2500 price of some tours could be otherwise used to fund a human rights organization’s attempt to rescue a North Korean refugee. He adds,
I am not interested in going to North Korea as long as North Koreans are held captive. I could go one day, but for now, I can do without a government-guided tour by “men-stealers and women-whippers.
Depending on how you look at things, the above could well be valid reason not to go. But renowned North Korea experts like Andrei Lankov and Aidan Foster-Carter both provide compelling arguments why tourism should be encouraged, because it is something that increases contact with outsiders and can sew the seeds for North Koreans to think differently about their own system. It’s worth reading their arguments in full, here and here.
Original NK News article link:
Is Tourism in North Korea Really Booming?If tourism is growing, should it be encouraged?