North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shut down the country’s border at the beginning of this year to keep out COVID-19 . I have been fascinated with North Korea for years. Matt Kulesza: For those not familiar, it’s impossible to just rock up to North Korea as a solo or independent traveler. As the foreign tour leader, my job was basically the link between the North Korea tour guides and the tourists. The North Koreans really want to build their tourism industry and they’re generally pretty receptive to suggestions.