State Department: Don't travel to North Korea - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

State Department: Don't travel to North Korea

Otto Warmbier (Photo courtesy WWBT NBC12) Otto Warmbier (Photo courtesy WWBT NBC12)

Americans with travel plans to North Korea may want to choose another destination.

The State Department has released a four-page statement that makes it clear: if you travel to North Korea, you're on your own. And they're doing it in an unusually blunt and direct fashion.

The agency usually issues travel warnings every six months on a variety of countries, but recent legislation now requires it to issue travel warnings about North Korea every 90 days.

The warning comes about two months after Wyoming High School Graduate Otto Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years "hard labor" by the North Korean government for "hostile act" against the government.

At least 14 U.S. citizens have been detained in North Korea in the last decade, including people traveling on their own and visitors in the country as part of a group tour.

Because the U.S. does not have formal diplomatic relations with North Korea, the State Department has no way of providing consular help to travelers in distress and works through the Swedish Embassy.

The new State Department warning makes clear that if Americans do enter the country against the agency's advice, they should "have no expectation of privacy."

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