North Korea Sticks With Irrational Ebola Policy, Bans Foreign Marathon Runners

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N. Korea's heir apparent Kim Jong-un In this Oct. 9, 2010, file photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Kim Jong-un, the third son and heir apparent of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, applauds while watching the North's mass gymnastics festival "Arirang" in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack while on a train trip on Dec. 17, 2011, state media reported Dec. 19.
Kim Jong-un applauds himself for finding a new way to hurt North Korea. Photo: Yonhap

Though no cases of Ebola were reported anywhere near North Korea, in October the troubled nation announced that it would close its borders to most foreigners and impose a three-week quarantine on those who do enter the country to prevent the virus from spreading. Now, despite the fact that the outbreak is tapering off even in West Africa, North Korea has banned foreigners from the Pyongyang marathon on April 12. “Our North Korean partners in Pyongyang contacted us this morning with news that the 2015 Pyongyang Marathon has – as of today – been closed to amateur and professional foreign runners,” Nick Bonner, director China’s Koryo Tours, told Reuters. North Korea has been trying to increase tourism, and this is another big blow to the industry, as hundreds of foreign runners had already signed up for tours. We get it, North Korea: You’re crazy.