North Korea Car Rental and Driving in North Korea
Not surprisingly no car rental companies have seen the need to open a branch in Pyongyang. If you manage to get a visa to visit North Korea you will be expected to be accompanied by a government minder at all times. If you manage to sneak out of the back door of your hotel unaccompanied, you could find yourself charged with espionage. Against this backdrop, its highly unlikely self drive will be an option in North Korea any time soon. You need a DPRK driving licence to drive a car anyway, and I wouldn’t like to imagine the lifetime of red tape you’d need to go through to get one.Even bicycles are unavailable to rent at the present time.
In June 2011, a number of news agencies reported the headline ‘North Korea allows First Self Drive Tourists!’. Closer inspection, however, revealed that 100 Chinese visitors were allowed to drive their own vehicles in a convoy through the country, accompanied by Government vehicles. You Tube videos show the tourists eating slap-up meals in top restaurants and attending lavish concerts. It therefore looks like this was a stage managed event rather than a sign of things to come in terms of opening the country up to independent travellers.
If anyone manages to somehow drive in North Korea and gets out to tell the tale, It would be great to hear it!