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European tourists in N. Korea banned from sending outbound mail

All Headlines 11:53 February 21, 2013

SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Yonhap) -- European tourists visiting North Korea are banned from sending mail overseas following the country's nuclear test earlier in February, a U.S.-based internet news media said Thursday.

"Western tourists in North Korea have been banned from sending postcards home to friends and loved ones, supposedly as a result of 'sanctions' passed in recent days and weeks," NK News said.

The ban is affecting Europeans, but not Americans, the Internet media said, citing two tourist groups in the country.

"The new sanctions make it impossible for European tourists to send postcards home," it said, referring to "two separate tourist groups who were in the country during and after the nuclear test."

"American tourists in another group were allowed to send their cards home," it said.

One North Korea tour guide cited Chinese sanctions as the reason why they were not allowed to send out the mail, the report said, adding that Chinese sanctions are unlikely and the ban could be an arbitrary measure on the North Korean side.

Also the ban may not be the result of punitive measures by some European nations, the media said, adding the recent sanctions adopted by the European Union do not deal with postal services.

North Korea is known to tightly screen mail coming in from the outside world but not those dispatched overseas by foreign travelers.

Tensions are rising after the North conducted a nuclear test on Feb. 12 in defiance of the United Nations resolutions and the international community's warnings.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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