U.S. Citizens Banned From travel To North Korea

Two tour agencies that arrange trips to North Korea said on Friday the U.S. government will soon ban its citizens from traveling there, after the death of a U.S. student arrested there while on a tour. Koryo Tours said the ban would be announced on July 27 and would go into effect 30 days later. It said the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang, which handles consular affairs for the United States in the North, informed it of the ban, but did not say how long it would last. “But it does seem to be the case that in just over a month, it will be impossible for Americans to visit as tourists,” Koryo Tours general manager Simon Cockrell told Reuters by telephone. Another tour operator, Young Pioneer Tours, said on its Web site that it had also been informed of the ban, citing the same date. “After the 30-day grace period any U.S. national that travels to North Korea will have their passport invalidated by their government,” it said. The U.S. embassy in the South Korean capital, Seoul, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The isolated state allows foreign tourists to visit but their travel is strictly limited.