Best Energy Vortex Destinations Around the World
Why World Tourism Day Matters
Is Travel Cash a Thing of the Past?
Hotels and Resorts
Tropical Beachfront Concierge King
Greater Miami & Miami Beach Specialist
Travel Suppliers With the Best Commissions for Travel Advisors
Partner With Palladium and Sell as a Specialist
It is already difficult to travel to North Korea, but it's about to become nearly impossible.
CNN reports the U.S. Congress is moving ahead with bipartisan legislation that would enact a travel ban on Americans visiting North Korea.
The report states the policy may be enacted as early as next month. The law would prohibit any form of tourism travel to the hermit country. 'Necessary travel' would mandate special permission and a license from the Treasury Department.
The report comes a few weeks after Republican Rep. Joe Wilson and Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff initially introduced the bill. Called the North Korea Travel Control Act, the new legislation would dramatically cut off American tourism to a country deemed too dangerous to visit.
Rep. Schiff explained the impetus of the bill back in May: "In recent years, there has been an increase in tourist travel to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) by citizens of Western countries, including the United States. With increased tensions in North Korea, the danger that Americans will be detained for political reasons is greater than ever."
Rep. Wilson was a bit more forceful with his statement at the time: "Tourist travel to North Korea does nothing but provide funds to a tyrannical regime-that will in turn be used to develop weapons to threaten the United States and our allies, as I saw firsthand on a rare visit to Pyongyang."
Since that initial introduction of the bill, American citizen Otto Warmbier passed away after slipping into a coma. He had previously been detained by North Korea during a sightseeing tour of the country in 2016 after being found allegedly taking down a poster in a hotel, via CNN.
For that alleged crime, Warmbier was detained for 17 months and had, according to North Korea, contracted botulism. He went into a coma around March of 2017 and was returned to the United States on June 13, only to die on June 19.
House foreign affairs chairman Ed Royce explained, via CNN: "We need to. People watch these websites that guarantee they can go into North Korea and be secure, be safe, these glossy presentations -- and the reality is that many of these visitors end up being used as bargaining chips by the North Korean regime."
Rep. Wilson explained, via CNN, that the bill was being pushed forward precisely because of Warmbier's recent death: "Sadly, because of Otto Warmbier it's certainty been expedited. The American people need to do know this. Because it does sound exotic to go to a Hermit Kingdom, but it's not exotic, it's dangerous and you're dealing with a maniacal society."
Chinese tour group Koryo Group explained to CNN Money that the effect of a travel ban would be minimal to North Korea during a report back in May: "The North Korean weapons program won't grind to a halt as a result of the loss of a few hundred tourists a year."
CNN Money states that of the 100,000 people who actually visit North Korea as tourists, 95 percent are Chinese. Global travel into North Korea is extremely low. More recently, the isolated nation has toyed with creative ways to spark interest, such as a casino-enabled cruise ship-although actual gambling in the country is outlawed.
[READMORE]READ MORE: SCOTUS Unanimously Upholds Trump Travel Ban [/READMORE]
The travel policy would follow other travel bans. President Donald Trump recently partially rolled back a détente to Cuba, which allowed freer visits to the island nation. The embattled travel ban that includes six predominantly Muslim nations was reinstated thanks to a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court.
The North Korea policy is unique in that it not only prohibits American travel to a foreign nation but does so specifically for the danger presented by the mere fact one is in North Korea. Possible detainment could set off a string of events that would start with personal danger but could very well mean political repercussions on the global stage.
After a public tragedy in the form of Warmbier's death, Congress has seen quite enough of anyone taking a chance on seeing this country.
Born on the rough streets of suburban West Covina, I learned a great many things, some of which has proved useful: knowing the...
the latest travel news, advice, updates, upcoming exclusive deals and more.
CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC
What to Make of JetBlue Trying Its Hand in Court
Five Epic Luxury Resorts in the Dominican Republic
Let Windstar take your groups 180 degrees from ordinary