North Korea, running scared from Ebola, bans foreigners from marathon
By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has banned foreign runners from participating in an international marathon scheduled to be held in the capital in April, citing fears about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, a Beijing-based travel agency said on Monday. North Korea is thousands of miles from the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and has reported no cases of the virus, which has killed more than 9,000 people. Nonetheless, its borders have remained closed to foreign tourists since last October, for fear the virus might spread, and it imposes a strict 21-day quarantine for foreign aid workers and diplomats, who have been told to stay in embassy compounds. “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 of Koryo Tours, told Reuters in an emailed statement.