ASU professor makes trip to North Korea

ASU professor makes trip to North Korea

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - An Arkansas State political science professor recently made the trip of a lifetime.

Last month, Dr. Jacob Ausderan traveled to North Korea with a China based tour company that specializes in getting Westerners into North Korea. The Department of State strongly discourages Americans from traveling to North Korea, but for Ausderan it was an opportunity he couldn't pass up.

"I've been planning for a year and a half now and it was the kind of thing that when I found out it was possible to into North Korea, as long as you go through a few hoops, you had to do it," he said.

He spend four days in the country, including Pyongyang and the countryside.

He also spent two days in Beijing, China. His group of eleven tourists were accompanied by  government escorts, or minders. 

"It's a very unconventional place to go and for me that was a part of the attractions, I've always been fascinated with North Korea," Ausderan said. 

He said he definitely had some doubts and hesitations the closer it got to his trip especially when he was told to get his affairs in order. He made arrangements just in case something happened to him. 

North Korea released two Americans Saturday making them the last Americans to be held after last month's release.

Ausderan said when visiting the country there are certain rules you must follow.

"Just nod you're head, don't ask questions and don't insult the leader of the country," he said.

Most of his preconceptions about the country were true. He said he was constantly fed American propaganda making it difficult to get a real grasp of the country. 

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