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Australia issues travel alert for N. Korea

All Headlines 09:08 August 01, 2014

SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) -- Australia has issued a travel alert for North Korea, advising its citizens to "reconsider" trips to the communist country, a U.S. radio report said Friday, following Pyongyang's recent detention of an Australian missionary.

The Australian foreign ministry issued an advisory to reconsider the need to travel to North Korea, the Washington-based Voice of America (VOA) reported, saying the travel alert was issued in early June.

The warning, the second highest of the foreign ministry's four-level travel alerts, said, "We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)."

"Restrictions are placed on foreigners, with very different laws and regulations applying to behavior. There are intermittent DPRK threats against international interests," according to the ministry warning.

"Foreign visitors have been subject to arbitrary arrest and long-term detention ... Foreigners may be arrested, detained or expelled for activities that would not be considered crimes in Australia," it also noted, also advising travelers not to bring "anything into the country that may be perceived by DPRK officials as religious, pornographic or political in nature."

In February, the North arrested John Short, a 75-year-old Australian missionary, for distributing religious materials during his tour to the country before releasing him two weeks later.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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