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U.S. 'to ban citizens from visiting North Korea'

22 July, 2017, 01:02 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • North Korean Missiles Could Reach Hawaii in 20 Minutes so the State Is PreparingMore

North Korea's silence was a setback for President Moon Jae-in's hope of engaging Pyongyang in dialogue.

The longest-held American is Kim Dong-chul, a businessman who was working in a special economic zone in North Korea when he was arrested in October 2015 and accused of being a South Korean spy. He died a few days later in Ohio.

How did the news come to light?

A Seoul-based group has issued a report containing interviews with over 300 defectors, who told of firing squads executing people in schools and markets for theft, prostitution and other charges.

He said the embassy was trying to check on the number of U.S. tourists left in the country.

Warmbier's trip to the pariah nation ended in detention, imprisonment and a catastrophic head injury that resulted in his death after being released and deported to the USA last month. Three Americans remain in custody in the North.

What form will the ban take?

'After the 30 day grace period any USA national that travels to North Korea will have their passport invalidated by their government.

But Miyagi said the public should simply liken the preparation for a doomsday to the work being done to prepare for a hurricane and tsunami.

Simon Cockerill of Koryo Tours said the company had also been contacted by the Swedish embassy.

How have the travel agencies reacted?

The United States last month had been "contemplating" a ban, Nauert said at the time.

The official announcement "will basically end American tourism" in North Korea, said Cockerell, whose company now takes between 300-400 Americans to the country each year.

Before Warmbier's death, on May 25 the US Congress was presented a draft law banning tourist visits to North Korea for US citizens.

Two tourism companies that specialize in trips to North Korea announced the ban Friday morning.

The House foreign affairs subcommittee is scheduled to take up the draft legislation on 27 July but it would still have to go to the Senate. The State Department now strongly warns Americans against traveling to North Korea.

U.S. officials have said that North Korea is continuing to launch components to launch a missile, but the United States intelligence says that the program still remains in early stages. The official announcement from Washington is expected July 27 and the ban will be implemented 30 days later, according to the operators.

"While there are several possible explanations, the most likely is preparations for a test in the near future of an updated Pukguksong-1 [KN-11] submarine-launched ballistic missile or a potentially newer system", Bermudez writes. Now, the assessment of risk for Americans visiting North Korea has become too high.


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