TOKYO (AP) Runners of the world, unite!For the first time ever, North Korea is opening up the streets of its capital to runner-tourists for the annual Pyongyang marathon, undoubtedly one of the most exotic feathers in any runner’s cap.Tourism companies say they are getting inundated by requests to sign up for the April 13 event, which this year will include amateur runners from around the world. The race includes a full marathon – with a handful of world-class, invitation-only athletes – a half marathon and a 10-kilometer run.The opening of the race to recreational runners is in keeping with the North’s ongoing, but sometimes sporadic, effort to earn cash revenue by boosting tourism, usually with well-orchestrated group tours to major arts performances or attractions the North wants to show off.Earlier this year, North Korea’s government announced a plan to create special trade and tourism zones across the country and unveiled its first luxury ski resort, aimed largely at luring ski enthusiasts from abroad. Under the watch of young leader Kim Jong Un, the North has also been giving sports in general a higher profile. Simple recreational sports facilities, such as outdoor basketball courts and roller skating rinks, have been popping… Read full this story
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