TRAVEL BAN: USA To Ban Americans Visiting North Korea
USA is to ban its citizen from travelling to North Korea. The ban will be announced on 27th July and will come into effect 30 days afterwards, according to tour groups that operate in North Korea. US officials have confirmed there will be a ban but have currently not stated a date.
Official have linked the death of Otto Warmbier to the travel ban. Otto Warmbier was an American student who was arrested in 2016 for allegedly trying to steal propaganda signs. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, however he was returned to the US in June only to die a week later.
The tour companies, Young Pioneer Tours and Koryo Tours, were informed of the ban by the Swedish embassy. In a statement from Young Pioneer Tours read
“It is expected that the ban will come into force within 30 days of July 27th.
“After the 30-day grace period any US national that travels to North Korea will have their passport invalidated by their government.”
The 30 day grace period is to allow current tourist and humanitarian workers time to go back to the US.
Koryo Tours still plans on conducting tours and taking American until the ban, however Young Pioneers Tour have ceased tours.
This has been expected for a while. I think this is the best course of action that the US can take. The citizen are under constant threat while in North Korea, there’s no knowing what bogus lie will get them thrown into prison. North Korea uses US citizens like pawns in negotiations, they’re willing to play dirty to get what they want. As of right now, there are currently three US citizens that are in North Korea’s custody.
- Kim Dong-chul, a 62-year-old naturalised US citizen born in South Korea, who was sentenced to 10 years of hard labour in April 2016 for spying
- Korean-American professor Kim Sang-duk (or Tony Kim) who was detained in April 2017. The reasons for his arrest are not yet clear
- Kim Hak-song, like Kim Sang-duk, worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) and was detained in May 2017 on suspicion of “hostile acts” against the state
I suggest American citizens get out of North Korea as fast as they can.