Black Friday: The State Department Travel Advisory Update

November 27, 2015 3:45 PM

We have previously reported on changes to the State Department’s travel advisories regarding the DPRK (here and here). Recently, the State Department has added new language on the risk of arrest and long-term detention in the DPRK due to Pyongyang’s “inconsistent application of its criminal laws”:

"U.S. citizens have been subject to arrest and long-term detention for actions that would not be cause for arrest in the United States or other countries."

"North Korean authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who entered the DPRK legally on valid DPRK visas as well as U.S. citizens who accidentally or intentionally crossed into DPRK territory without valid visas."

(The full advisory can be seen here).

Per earlier such missives, the State Department “strongly” recommends against all travel by U.S. citizens to the North. We have argued that many of those detained are "not-so innocents abroad," running risks that in retrospect appear destined for trouble or even seeking arrest. But there are some shifts on the North Korean side that also raise risks, such as arresting individuals for supposed crimes committed outside the country. We reported a few months back about Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim (see below) detained for what he had said and done in Canada and elsewhere.

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