Ariang Mass Games

The Ariang Mass Games. That "poster" in the background is a mosaic formed by thousands of kids holding up placards in unison. (Photo by Kok Leng Yeo)

So, now Americans can visit North Korea year-round (not just during the big showcase Arirang spectacle of creepily syncronized kindergarten kids). See: http://www.northkorea1on1.com

The real question is: should we be going at all? I am sure all visits will be as structured, regimented, and closely guarded as ever (a tourism variant on the old Potemkin Village), so would that stifle any of the potential benefits travel otherwise usually brings–a cultural exchange on a personal level in which people from both nations get to learn a bit about one another and, hopefully, foster a greater understanding.

Or will it be more of the same story: tourists blithely contributing to both the piggybank of a repressive regime and helping further its propoganda machine.

In other words, should travel to North Korea be boycotted, as it frequently is to other despotic countries like Myanmar?