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Sentosa island is just one of the 63 islands that make up Singapore, an island city-state off southern Malaysia. It’s 500-hectares and only a short distance from the main island. It’s accessible by cable car, a monorail, a pedestrian causeway and vehicle tunnel. This means access can be controlled, making it a secure venue for the North Korea summit. Sentosa Island is today marketed as the State of Fun. It’s home to a Universal Studios theme park, a new water park and the Resorts World casino. It also boasts beaches, an award-winning golf club with two courses, some of Singapore's most luxurious hotels, spa retreats, a deep-water yachting marina, lush rainforests and a selection of Michelin-starred restaurants. However it wasn’t always such a ‘fun’ place, with the island having seen its fair share of horror over the years. Trump North Korea summit: Sentosa Island boasts beaches, lush rainforests, spa retreats and more Air pollution in Singapore and Malaysia rose to unhealthy levels this week thanks to illegal forest clearing in Indonesia. Smoky haze from Indonesia's forest fires choked Singapore and Malaysia, prompting both governments to issue health warnings to their citizens. The name sadly didn’t reflect the island’s goings-on and thousands were massacred in the following years under an operation to purge anti-Japanese elements from the ethnic Chinese community.
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Plus, visa-free access to China’s Hainan Island for 59 countries from May 1 and Bangkok taxi drivers get a crash course in English Locals and tourists in front of bronze statues of former North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il at the Grand Monument on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea has been dominating the headlines of late, as its leader, Kim Jong-un, prepares for the April 27 summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in by suspending nuclear and missile tests and courting cautious optimism from adversaries and experts alike. Technically still at war with the South, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has existed in almost complete isolation since its inception in 1948, and remains an enigma as well as a risky tourist destination – last September, the United States announced a ban on its citizens travelling to the country following the death of American student Otto Warmbier , who died days after being released from detention in North Korea. On April 22, 32 Chinese tourists died in a coach accident while travelling on the Reunification Highway, which connects the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, with the southern city of Kaesong. Hard-partying North Korean tour groups in spotlight after Otto Warmbier death Nevertheless, an estimated 5,000 Western tourists, and considerably more Chinese, continue to make the trip each year. China’s tourism authority does not publish figures for nationals visiting North Korea, although a report compiled by a South Korean think tank, the Korea Maritime Institute, found that more than 230,000 Chinese tourists made the trip in 2012, and more recent information suggests that numbers have risen dramatically. According to the state-owned China News Service, the number of Chinese visitors travelling from the border town of Dandong into the DPRK rose to 580,000 in the second half of 2016. Independent travel is out of the question. Instead, visitors must join an authorised tour, carefully designed to showcase the DPRK in its best light. Although, according to British-owned, Beijing-based Koryo Tours, which is responsible for taking 2,000 people to the hermit kingdom annually, these visits can be tweaked to suit the interests of the traveller, whether those lie in architecture, education or even fishing. Why Chinese tourists are flocking to North Korea North Korea itself aims to cement its spot on the tourist trail, hoping to attract 2 million visitors by 2020. However, debate rages over the ethics involved with such an expedition, and whether travellers stepping foot in the DPRK are, in fact, giving their tacit support to a dictatorial regime. Tour providers assert otherwise, insisting that tourism to North Korea does not prop up the government, but instead goes some way towards undoing its message that all Westerners are murderous, rapacious imperialists. Arguments against visiting the DPRK state that there is no avoiding the fact that some of the money generated from tourism ultimately goes towards funding the regime and its endeavours, which, of course, include its nuclear programme.
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