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U.S. issues latest travel warning for N. Korea

All News 05:09 February 08, 2017

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. State Department on Tuesday issued a new warning against traveling to North Korea.

"The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to North Korea/the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) due to the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea’s system of law enforcement," the department said.

"This system imposes unduly harsh sentences for actions that would not be considered crimes in the United States and threatens U.S. citizen detainees with being treated in accordance with 'wartime law of the DPRK,'" it said.

At least 14 U.S. citizens have been detained in North Korea in the past 10 years, it said.

The department issues the anti-North Korea travel warning every three months.

U.S. issues latest travel warning for N. Korea - 1

Two American citizens -- college student Otto Warmbier and Korean-American pastor Kim Dong-chul -- are currently detained in the North after being sentenced to long prison terms for what Pyongyang calls subversive acts against the country.

American citizens have often been detained in North Korea on charges of anti-state and other unspecified crimes. Widespread views have been that Pyongyang has often used the detentions as bargaining chips in its negotiations with Washington.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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