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U.S. fully implements travel restrictions against Muslim countries, N. Korea

All Headlines 06:51 December 09, 2017

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- The United States on Friday fully implemented travel restrictions against six Muslim-majority countries, North Korea and Venezuela.

The restrictions were announced in a proclamation signed by President Donald Trump in September, but faced legal appeals. The Supreme Court ruled Monday to allow the order to be enforced while the legal proceedings continue.

"The Department began implementing the full Proclamation at the opening of business (local time) at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas today, Friday, December 8, 2017," the State Department said in a statement.

National security is the top priority in U.S. visa operations, it said, and the embassies and consulates will fully implement the proclamation to "protect the American people."

"All countries share responsibility to prevent terrorist attacks, transnational crime, and immigration fraud," it said.

The eight nations, including Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, are accused of failing to comply with U.S. requirements designed to ensure travelers do not pose a national security or public safety threat.

The order calls for enhancing vetting capabilities at the U.S. diplomatic missions.

The restrictions can be lifted if the targeted countries work with the U.S. government to ensure the safety of Americans, according to the State Department.

Suspending entry of North Koreans is largely symbolic, as the communist regime imposes strict controls on its citizens' travels and few are thought to come to the U.S.

Tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have escalated for months over the regime's testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles aimed at the U.S. mainland.

hague@yna.co.kr
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