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Tuesday
Apr092013

Tourism Rises in South Korea Despite Tensions with North

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- Planning a vacation?  Don't rule out South Korea.

While the country may not seem like the ideal place to visit, given the recent tension on the peninsula, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) says that South Korea had more international visitors in March than in any month in its history.

Over one million foreigners visited South Korea last month -- a boost of 12 percent from March 2012.  The KTO says South Korea ranks just behind Japan and Germany in terms of rate of tourism growth.

But can South Korea sustain record tourism in the face of harrowing threats from Pyongyang?

North Korea expert Andrei Lankov, a professor at Seoul's Kookmin University, contends that the international community should not heed the bluster of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because Lankov thinks there's little to no chance that he'll follow through on his threats.

However, Kim's rhetoric has been effective in scaring people although interestingly, no foreign government has issued travel warnings concerning visits to South Korea.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio