A Western tour company in China says it has obtained permission from North Korea for Westerners to make day trips into the country from the Chinese border.

Gareth Johnson of Young Pioneer Tours said Tuesday his company had received Pyongyang's approval to organize tours for non-Chinese foreigners to the North Korean border town of Sinuiju, which so far has been open only to Chinese tourists.

Johnson says he expects the day trips to be popular among Westerners looking for an affordable and convenient option to visit the largely isolated country.

Sinuiju is connected by bridge to the Chinese city of Dandong along the Yalu River. It has been open to Chinese tourists since the 1990s and receives about 20,000 Chinese visitors each year.