The U.S. Department of State has extended ban on its nationals to travel to North Korea by another year, citing a risk of detention for U.S. passport holders.
The extension was contained in a public notice published by the U.S. Federal Register.
“The department of state has determined that there continues to be serious risk to U.S. citizens and nationals of arrest and long-term detention, representing imminent danger to their physical safety,” the statement said.
According to the department of state, the extension of the travel ban took effect from Sept. 1 and will be valid until Aug. 31, 2021.
The ban can be removed or extended again, depending on the decision of the U.S. Secretary of State.
The ban was introduced in 2017 and then repeatedly extended, with an exception for officials and journalists.
Travel was prohibited after Otto Warmbier, a U.S. college student, was arrested while on a tourist trip to North Korea in January, 2016, for trying to steal a political poster.
He was sentenced to 15 years in prison but was returned to the U.S. in an unconscious state 17 months later, and died shortly thereafter. (Sputnik/NAN)