US ‘to ban citizens from visiting North Korea’

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The US government has allegedly announced a ban on American citizens travelling to North Korea.

Two tour operators – Koryo Tours and Young Pioneer Tours – who offer programmes to the reclusive country stated on social media that the ban would be announced on July 27 and would come into effect at the end of August.

Rowan Beard, a tour guide at Young Pioneer Tours, told BBC News the company had been informed of the news by the Swedish embassy, which looks after US affairs in North Korea.

The embassy is reportedly currently checking the number of US tourists still in North Korea.

Young Pioneer Tours released a statement on Friday alleging that it had been “informed that the US government will no longer be allowing US citizens to travel to the DPRK (North Korea)”.

The company added: “It is expected that the ban will come into force within 30 days of July 27. After the 30 day grace period, any US national that travels to North Korea will have their passport invalidated by their government”.

The China-based tour operator previously made headlines in January 2016 after taking US tourist, Otto Warmbier to North Korea, where he was later arrested and jailed for 15 years.

Warmbier was released last month but was already in a coma and died six days after being brought back to the United States.

Following the death of the student, Young Pioneer Tours announced it would no longer take visitors from the US to North Korea.

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