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US Citizens Banned From Travel to N Korea Starting From End of August



US citizens will not be allowed to travel to North Korea starting from the end of August due to the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention, US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in release on Friday.

Earlier on the day, an agency arranging tour programs to North Korea said that the US will prohibit its citizens from traveling to the North Korea after the death of US citizen following his detention in the country.

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

"The restriction will be implemented 30 days after publication of the Federal Register notice announcing the restriction" next week.

At least 17 US citizens have been detained in North Korea over the past 10 years, despite a State Department warning against travel to the country. 

Three US citizens of Korean descent are reportedly being imprisoned in North Korea. 

Kim Hak-song was detained this May on accusations of hostile acts against the state, Kim Dong-chul was sentenced in 2016 for spying, while Kim Sang-duk was seized last April for unknown reasons.

The YPT is the agency hat brought US college student Otto Warmbier to North Korea in 2016, who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel in Pyongyang.

After 17 months in detention, he was released in a coma in June, evacuated to the United States and died in Ohio a few days after. 

The US State Department did not comment on the circumstances surrounding Warmbier's death, but condemned North Korea for its actions.

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