“he state North Korean tourist company KITC did not know in advance about our route. And we did not know what would really happen to us after arrival at Tumangan.”
“Not only that North Korea is quite an unusual touristic destination, the route to North Korea was even more unusual – I travelled the whole way from Vienna (Austria) to Pyongyang by train via Slovakia, Ukraine and Russia (my friend, he is from Switzerland, only joined me in Irkutsk). And we used a route into North Korea, which is said to be impossible for tourists:
We entered North Korea from Russia via the border at Hasan/Tumangan, whereas usually tourists can only use the railway line from the Chinese-Korean border at Dandong/Sinuiju to Pyongyang.
This route was open for tourist traffic only untill about 1994. It’s likely that we were the first tourists who travelled this line since then.”
Update, 18 June 2018:
Train ride from Austria to North Korea. Apparently it is now possible again to travel there as a foreigner, “The Longest Train Journey in the World Offers a Rare Look at North Korea” at: https://theculturetrip.com/asia/north-korea/articles/the-longest-train-journey-in-the-world-offers-a-rare-look-at-north-korea/
With reference to: “he 800km of railway from Pyongyang to Tumangang, near the point at which North Korea, China and Russia converge, has just opened to foreigners. Post Magazine boards the first train making the journey”