Friday, 21 July 2017

USA: US To Introduce Ban On Americans Travelling To North Korea

Two tourist agencies that operate tours to North Korea said Friday the U.S. government will soon ban its citizens from traveling to the North.

Koryo Tours said the ban would be announced July 27 and would go into effect 30 days later. It did not say how long the ban would last.

Another tour operator, Young Pioneer Tours, said in a Twitter message that it had also been informed of the ban, citing the same date.

Young Pioneer was the agency that took U.S. student Otto Warmbier to North Korea. He was subsequently arrested there and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

North Korea released him in June in a coma and he died days after getting back to the United States.

After Otto Warmbier, detained for more than a year in North Korea, returned home in a coma, the Trump administration is looking into ways to stop other Americans from going there.

The State Department currently warns Americans against travel to that country, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has signaled he may go further.

We have been evaluating whether we should put some type of travel visa restriction to North Korea, he told a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.We have not come to a final conclusion, but we are considering it.

Fred Warmbier, Otto Warmbier's father, told reporters that his 22-year-old son is "a young, thrill-seeking, great kid" who was on a trip organized by a Chinese-based company called Young Pioneer Tours.


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