June 20 (UPI) -- North Korea could be pushing tourism in China in the wake of heavier sanctions against the Kim Jong Un regime, and amid an outcry over the death of U.S. college student Otto Warmbier.
Voice of America reported Tuesday a train traveling between Tumen, a Chinese city in Jilin Province, and Chilbosan, a North Korean mountain in North Hamgyong Province, has resumed service.
The train service was first launched in 2011, but tensions on the peninsula may have suspended operations.
A tour package includes train transportation and visits to state-sanctioned attractions in North Hamgyong Province.
A 4-day, 3-night package from a Chinese travel agency costs about $250-320 per person, according to the report.
It was unclear whether the package was intended exclusively for Chinese nationals, or other foreigners could join the modestly priced tours.
Group tours to North Korea that depart from China are expensive.
Koryo Tours, a Beijing-based tour operator run by British nationals, charges more than $1,720 for 4 nights in North Korea and "one on the train," according to its website.
According to VOA and local Chinese press reports, tour packages from Chinese travel agencies working with the North Korean state do not require passports, only photo identification.
Chinese travel agencies offer other products that are not subject to international sanctions: tours that run between the Chinese city of Hunchun and the North Korean city of Rajin, bus tours to Chilbosan as well as Samjiyon, located near Mount Paektu, the official birthplace of former leader Kim Jong Il.
The U.S. State Department has warned Americans against traveling to North Korea. Traveling with a member of a tour group or using a tour guide "will not prevent North Korean authorities from detaining or arresting you," the department has warned.
There are now three Americans in North Korea custody.
Despite warnings hundreds of Americans continue to visit the country, according to The New York Times.