23:55 GMT +318 October 2019
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    American student Otto Warmbier, right, bows as Warmbier is presented to the reporters on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Pyongyang, North Korea

    US May Introduce Travel Ban on North Korea Following Arrests of Americans

    © AP Photo / Kim Kwang Hyon
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    Washington could introduce a travel ban for US citizens to visit North Korea after two US citizens were sentenced to hard labor and long prison terms, according to local media.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States could introduce a travel ban preventing US citizens from visiting North Korea, following the sentencing of two Americans to hard labor and long prison terms, media reported on Tuesday.

    "If a travel ban is compelled anywhere, it’s compelled in a country like North Korea, which is under a series of UN Security Council resolutions for being a dire threat to its neighbors, and is responsible for crimes against humanity,", a lawyer who helped draft sanctions against North Korea, Joshua Stanton, told the Wall Street Journal.

    At least three foreigners have been sentenced to long prison terms or hard labor since March when the United Nations passed tougher sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons program.

    Korean-American businessman Kim Dong-chul was sentenced last week to ten years of hard labor after being tried for espionage. Human rights groups have decried Kim’s trial and sentence as a political move by the North Korean government.

    In March, US student Otto Frederick Warmbier was jailed for 15 years for trying to steal a political banner, an action that was classified by Pyongyang as a "hostile act" against the government.

    The Department of State does not currently restrict US citizens from traveling to North Korea but advises against such trips, noting that Americans have been subject to arrest and long-term detention for actions that would not be cause for arrest in the United States or other countries.


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    Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), travel ban, United States
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