World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Kiwi pair tick off North Korea in perilous Quest

Media Release January 23, 2003

Kiwi pair tick off North Korea in perilous All Nations Quest

Two New Zealanders trying to visit every country in the world in 160 days entered North Korea today despite rising tensions in the region.

James Irving and his cousin John Bougen stood on North Korean soil early today (NZ time) to overcome one of their last major hurdles in seeking to set a world record for a single ticket journey in 160 days.

``Thanks to the Korean Tourist Bureau we stood on Korean soil at on January 22 (local time) – our 175th nation,’’ Bougen said.

``The event was witnessed by a member of the United Nations Military Command and 30 Japanese tourists who also took the opportunity in the centre of the demilitarised zone under the watchful gaze of both the North and South Korean Army.

``Landing in Tokyo later today will mark the completion of the Asian sector of the All Nations Quest, leaving only 15 Nations of the Pacific to visit on the final beat home,’’ Bougen said.

Only two countries out of the total of 193 mandated by the Guinness Book of Records are not likely to be entered in their epic and sometimes perilous quest.

Both Sao Tome and Principe (a tiny African nation) and Afghanistan could not be visited simply because of full flights and infrequent schedules.

This leaves the door open for someone else to beat Bougen and Irving’s record in both terms of number of nations visited in a single journey and the time taken to do same.

The Guinness Book of Records has told them no record exists of anyone visiting the most countries in a single journey.

To date the pair have been going non-stop for 148 days and have visited 174 nations.

They have travelled 216,293km, used 93 airlines, been on 218 flights and entered 171 airports.

They have spent the equivalent of 15.5 days in the air and a total of 23 days and nights waiting at airports and stations.

They have crossed the equator eight times since flying out of Auckland on August 28.

They still face some difficult times seeking to complete all the Pacific nations before turning to Auckland next month.

They began their journey in some of the most tense security times the world has ever seen five months ago in an attempt to visit every country in the world.

The pair are supporting Save the Children charity as they travel more than 200,000km, spend 400 hours in the air and move in and out of 200 different airports.

Their trip is costing $nz350,000 which they are meeting themselves and through assistance and sponsorship from the Flight Centre, Zoom, Vodafone and Mike Henry Travel Insurance.

Irving was born in Christchurch and his home is in Brisbane. Bougen was born in Timaru but has spent most of his life in Auckland.


Media advisory: For further inquiries contact: Kip Brook, Word of Mouth Media NZ, 03 374 5426 for photos wee the website:

Note 1: Sao Tome and Principe is ONE country.

Note 2: Word of Mouth Media NZ is handling all media arrangements for Bougen and Irving on their February arrival into Auckland. Please contact us if you have any queries or requirements.

Kip Brook
Word of Mouth Media NZ
Box 36 547
Ph: 03 374 5426
Fax: 03 374 5792

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news