US will bar Americans from visiting

The US authorities will bar American citizens from journeying to North Korea because of “mounting worries over the severe hazard of arrest and lengthy-time period detention,” the State Department stated Friday. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson legal a “geographical tour limit” on all US nationals’ use “of a passport to journey in, via, or to North Korea,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. The word will be positioned inside the Federal Register on Thursday –64 years to the day after a quit-fire settlement ended, preventing inside the Korean War — and the limit will move into impact 30 days after that.

Is North Korea's tourism industry luring Americans right into a trap?

Is North Korea’s tourism industry luring Americans right into a lure?
There will be exceptions, though they may require special approval, Nauert stated. “Once in impact, US passports might be invalid for the tour too, thru and in North Korea, and people may be required to obtain a passport with a special validation with a purpose to tour to or inside North Korea,” she said. “Individuals looking for to journey to North Korea for sure confined humanitarian or other purposes can also observe to the Department of State for a unique validation passport.”

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Tour agencies privy to the move

Two tour groups catering to Western travelers who want to go to the secretive nation first revealed details of the ban to CNN, which said it in advance Friday. Beijing-based totally Koryo Tours was instructed via Swedish government officials that the US planned to limit Americans from visiting North Korea. The tour agency’s well-known manager, Simon Cockerell, instructed CNN. The Swedish government represents America’s interests in North Korea.

Another enterprise, Young Pioneer Tours, issued a declaration Friday, pronouncing it became informed that the US authorities will now not allow US citizens to tour North Korea. The ban turns into powerful within 30 days of July 27, it added. “After the 30-day grace length, any US national that travels to North Korea can have their passport invalidated by way of their government,” the announcement says.


Anger over Otto Warmbier’s demise grows
Tragic fate

Beijing-primarily based Young Pioneer Americans  Tours had prepared US university scholar visiting Otto Warmbier’s ride to North Korea. Warmbier changed into arrested closing year whilst at the sightseeing tour. After being held prisoner using North Korea for 17 months, Warmbier in June become handed over to America in a vegetative kingdom. He died a few days later in Ohio.

Who becomes Otto Warmbier?

Following Warmbier’s death, Young Pioneer Tours announced it would no longer arrange excursions for US residents to North Korea. North Korea’s financial system grew speedy remaining 12 months. The United States remaining month was “thinking of” a ban, Nauert stated on time. A bipartisan invoice operating its manner thru the House would outlaw most US tour to North Korea for five years. The rules might ban tourism tours altogether and require US citizens to go to u. S. To get a license from the Treasury Department of American airlines reservations.

3 different Americans are in North Korean captivity.

Kim Dong Chul, the president of a business enterprise worried about global change and lodge offerings, was arrested in 2015 and is serving 10 years on espionage expenses. Kim Sang Duk, also called Tony Kim, a college professor, became detained in Pyongyang in 2017 and accused of overthrowing the government. Kim Hak-music, a local Korean born in China (Jin Xue Song is the Chinese version of his name), was detained May 6 on suspicion of “opposed acts” towards the regime. He is a professor at the same university as Tony Kim.

In planning my RTW adventure, I have been giving considerable thought to the options of backpack solo or booking an organized tour. I have combined both organized tours and backpacking solo in my past travels, and both have their good and bad points.


Time Poor – If you only have a limited amount of time to travel, then an organized tour is great as you will be able to get around and see all the things you want to, without the hassle of organizing the trip yourself.

New Friends – Generally, people who book an organized tour with a specific company all have similar interests. I have made some amazing friends by doing organized tours and still keeping in touch with them to this day.

You can be lazy – Once you have booked your tour, paid, and packed your bag, you don’t need to worry about a thing! You are in effect paying the tour company to take care of transportation, meals, accommodation, and all the hassles involved in traveling.


Socially inept – Every tour has someone on the tour who will drive you nuts. When in India, I was traveling with two girlfriends, and because there were 3 of us in total, we had to alternate sharing a room with another female. Unfortunately, this female was an older woman who had no self-awareness and was clearly an inexperienced traveler; some of the “interesting experiences’ we had with her included:

She did not shut the door when she went to the bathroom; I would NEVER go to the bathroom with the door open, especially when I had only known the person for a matter of weeks.

She did not bring adequate first aid and medical supplies. Unfortunately, she came down with a mild cold/flu and proceeded to use everyone else’s medication, and she never offered to replace it. When we went past a chemist, she was that inconsiderate that she didn’t even think to buy her own supplies.

She forgot her torch, now. We were camping along the Ganges for several days on this tour, and a torch was essential. So every time she went to the bathroom, she borrowed my head torch; the problem was that she put this on her sweaty head and handed it back to me wet. YUCK!

She hung her underwear up all over the bathroom and on my chair and bed; it was not a pleasant experience having to relocate her oversized bloomers every time I wanted to sit down.

She would leave the hotel with the key; several occasions when I was stranded outside of my room and had to wait for her to return; rule number 1 of an organized tour ALWAYS leaves the key with reception when you go out. You meet some amazing like-minded people along the way, hanging out at hostels and having a beer in the lounge can introduce you to some amazing people.