US ‘to ban citizens from visiting North Korea’

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North Korea

Koryo Tours and Young Pioneer Tours, two tourist agencies in North Korea, say the US will ban its citizens from travelling to the East-Asian country.

They said the ban which would be announced on July 27, will take effect 30 days later.

Young Pioneer Tours had taken US student Otto Warmbier to North Korea.

Warmbier was later arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison but was returned to the US in a coma in June. He died a week later.

The China-based company later announced it would no longer take visitors from the US to the country.

“We have just been informed that the US government will no longer be allowing US citizens to travel to the DPRK (North Korea),” Young Pioneer Tours said in a statement on Friday.

“It is expected that the ban will come into force within 30 days of July 27th.

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

However, the US has not confirmed the news.

According to BBC, Rowan Beard of Young Pioneer Tours said the company had been informed by the Swedish embassy, which looks after US affairs in North Korea.

The embassy is trying to check on the number of US tourists left in the country, he said.

Beard said the embassy was urging all US nationals to depart immediately, adding that the 30-day grace period would “give leeway for any [Americans] currently in the country as tourists or on humanitarian work”.

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

He said the agency would still conduct tours and take Americans until the ban came into effect.

“It’s unfortunate for the industry but also for North Koreans who want to know what Americans are really like,” Cockerill said.

 

 

 

 

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