Trump-era ban on travel to North Korea extended


The Biden administration is extending a Trump-era ban on travel to North Korea for one year.

In an unpublished federal register notice, the State Department announced that the ban would be extended to Aug. 31, 2022, unless otherwise revoked earlier.

Under the ban, all U.S. passports are invalid for traveling to North Korea unless “specifically validated for such authority under the Secretary of State.”

The agency said it determined “there continues to be serious risk to U.S. citizens and nationals of arrest and long-term detention constituting imminent danger to their physical safety.”

The travel ban was first imposed in 2017 by then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after the death of Otto Warmbier, who was detained in North Korea.

Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in prison 2016 for allegedly trying to steal a political poster. He only served 17 months before being released and returned to the United States.

While detained, Warmbier suffered an injury which caused him to be in a coma for over a year. He died shortly after returning to the U.S.

The ban was first announced in July 2017, and all passports were declared invalid for travel to North Korea in September 2017. The ban had been extended three times — in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The forthcoming extension will take effect when it is officially published in the federal register Thursday.

Tags North Korea Passport Rex Tillerson Travel ban
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