USA to ban citizens from visiting North Korea idefinitely, tour agencies say

Randall Padilla
July 22, 2017

The State Department confirmed the new restriction on Friday, after Young Pioneer Tours, which organized Otto Warmbier's fateful visit to North Korea, announced the pending move.

The BBC reports that Young Pioneer Tours was the agency that took U.S student, Otto Warmbier, to North Korea. An anonymous USA official has also confirmed it to CNN.

The move follows shortly after the death of USA college student Otto Warmbier, who travelled to North Korea with Young Pioneers in 2015.

According to Reuters, Koryo Tours also announced the us will implement a travel ban for North Korea.

"The Secretary has authorized a Geographical Travel Restriction on all USA citizen nationals' use of a passport to travel in, through, or to North Korea", Nauert stated.

Young Pioneer Tours was the same tour operator through which US student Otto Warmbier went to the isolated nation. His deteriorating condition promoted North Korea to release him back to the USA, where he died days later. She added that all other travel by Americans "to, through and in" North Korea will be prohibited.

North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, according to military officials. He was returned to the U.S. in a coma and died a week later.

During the Cold War, the state said, Hawaii routinely updated plans and conducted drills related to nuclear attack scenarios.

Simon Cockerell, Beijing-based general manager of the Koryo Group, one of the leading organizers of guided tours to North Korea, said the ban would affect 800-1,000 Americans who visit North Korea annually.

This year, Wilson introduced a bill with Democratic Representative Adam Schiff to ban Americans from travelling to North Korea as tourists, following the detention of at least 17 US citizens in the past decade.

Apart from the treatment of Americans in North Korea, tension has been increasing over Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

If Washington proceeds with the sanctions, they would constitute among the largest in scale of any directed at a third nation due to North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Warmbier was arrested previous year while on the sightseeing tour.

Kim Jong-Un consistently denies human rights abuses in his country and blames the U.S. for being the world's worst violator of human rights.

Westerners make up five per cent of total visitors, Americans about 20 per cent of the Western contingent, according to statistics.

Kim Sang Duk, also known as Tony Kim, a university professor, was detained in Pyongyang in 2017 and accused of attempting to overthrow the government.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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