20:28 GMT +319 November 2017
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    US State Dept. Updates North Korea Travel Warning Ahead of Tourist Ban

    © AFP 2017/ BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI
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    The US Department of State on Thursday issued an updated travel warning for North Korea to include information about the impending tourist ban.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The release detailed a number of potential issues with traveling to North Korea, including the lack of US diplomatic services, the country’s system of law enforcement and risk of detention for crimes such as criticizing the leadership, possessing material critical of the government, or taking unauthorized photographs.

    "The Department of State strongly warns US citizens not to travel to North Korea/the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)," the release stated.

    "Due to the serious and mounting risk of arrest and long-term detention of US citizens, the Secretary of State restricted the use of US passports to travel into, in, or through North Korea effective Friday, September 1, 2017."

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson authorized the ban following the death of Otto Warmbier, a US citizen and student who was detained North Korea for 17 months before being released and evacuated home to Ohio. Warmbier died a few days after returning home in a coma in June.

    Under the ban, US citizens who wish to travel to North Korea will be required to obtain special passport validation from the State Department.

    At least 16 US citizens have been detained in North Korea in the past decade, including Americans who were in the country with organized and permitted tour groups.

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    Tags:
    warning, travel, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States
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