UNDATED (CNN) -- It's barring South Korean workers from Kaesong and suggesting foreign embassies evacuate their staff from Pyongyang, but North Korea is not turning away tourists.
The hermit kingdom has become the destination of choice for people looking for a vacation off the beaten track. North Korea's propaganda target is pretty clear. On state TV, they are a nation on a war footing ready to smash the United States.
So North Korea is probably not where you'd plan your next trip. But this group of Americans did just that. Patrick Byler Clark says, "You know it's not a place to go on vacation...my mom was very supportive...my girlfriend broke up with me over it."
CNN caught up with Patrick Byler Clark and Josh Thomas, two American tourists who just braved a trip to Pyongyang. Ferris says, "My parents didn't know, they still don't know. They will find out tomorrow."
And instead of mass rallies in Kim-il Sung Square, the reality they witnessed was rollerblading. Apparently it's the latest fad. Clark says, "Out on the large square, everyone's roller-blading that's super popular right now."
North Korea is not just military goose-stepping across their main square. For these Americans it was tasting traditional tea, posing with extras in a war film, and attending a North Korean wedding. Clark says, "I have been around the world to about 100 countries and as an American, North Korea has been one of the forbidden countries."
Joseph Ferris guided the group. When North Korea opened up for American tourists in 2010, he rushed in posting his experiences and photos on his popular blog "American in North Korea".
The tension that is being talked around the world is not felt when you are there? Ferris says, "The guys that we work with are good friends of mine and worked with them before and they are lovely people."
So while thousands of South Korean and U.S. troops are on high alert at the border with the North. Senior North Korean officers gave a tour of the frontline to their American guests treating them like VIPs.
Joseph and Patrick say they only got to see what their government minders wanted them to see, but they say it was worth it and came back with an opinion that will surprise some. Clark says, "I truly at the bottom of my being believed that North Korea was not quite as crazy as the rest of the world seemed to think it was."