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US Passports Are Still Off Limits for Travel to North Korea, State Department Confirms

The Biden administration has prolonged the restriction on the use of U.S. passports for traveling to North Korea by an additional year. This measure, initially put in place in 2017, followed the tragic death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who suffered severe harm while in North Korean custody. Since then, the U.S. government has been renewing this ban on a yearly basis.

The reason for this extension is the ongoing and serious risk that U.S. citizens face if they travel to North Korea, which includes the possibility of being arrested and detained for an extended period.

This decision aligns with the backdrop of escalating tensions arising from North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Furthermore, the recent case of Travis King, a U.S. service member who entered North Korea via its heavily fortified border, has added to the urgency of the situation.

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Travis King’s Complex Predicament

The Biden administration has prolonged the restriction on the use of U.S. passports for traveling to North Korea by an additional year.


The ban explicitly prohibits the use of U.S. passports for travel to, from, or through North Korea unless there exists a compelling national interest that justifies an exception. This measure, aimed at safeguarding citizens, will remain effective until August 31, 2024. The decision to extend the ban was made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Travis King’s situation has raised significant concerns. He crossed into North Korea in July, but it’s not confirmed whether he used a U.S. passport for entry. North Korea acknowledged his presence and even released statements attributed to him that criticized the United States.

However, there’s uncertainty regarding the authenticity of these statements. King’s case is notable as he became the first American to be officially detained in North Korea in nearly five years.

In summary, the extension of the U.S. passport ban for travel to North Korea reflects the persistent danger posed to American citizens by entering the country. This decision coincides with rising tensions due to North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities and the recent incident involving Travis King.

The intention behind the ban is to protect citizens from potential harm, and it will remain effective until late 2024 unless there are changes to the policy.

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Source: The Epoc Times

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