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The US State Department updated its already strong travel warning for North Korea on Thursday in light of Pyongyang’s recent warning that it would treat any detained US citizens according to “wartime law.”
Although Washington has long warned about the dangers of travelling to North Korea in any capacity, its formal advisories have strengthened in tone with the recent arrest and detention of a number of American citizens. Among the cases drawing international attention was that of Otto Warmbier, a college student sentenced in March to 15 years hard labor for trying to steal a propaganda poster from a hotel.
The latest State Department travel advisory reiterated the “serious risk” of long-term detention in North Korea and “unduly harsh sentences” for actions that would not be considered criminal elsewhere.
It also drew attention to a North Korean announcement last month that all matters related to the United States, including the handling of detained US citizens, would henceforth be dealt with according to “wartime law.” (AFP)