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01/16/2018

Draft your will and make funeral plans before going to North Korea, U.S. warns citizens

Pyongyang’s Sunan International Airport. The woman is holding a sign that reads “The Sun of the 21st Century” in honor of Kim Jong Il’s 60th birthday (2002). Imade Credit: Vox

WVN – The U.S. State Department has warned U.S. Citizens that intends travelling to North Korea, to see their journey as a death sentence – following its frosty relation with the Asian country.

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The State Department gave the warning on its website urging and advising American citizens wishing to travel to the rouge state, to draft their wills and make necessary funeral arrangements before embarking on the journey.

Below is the travel warning to all American citizens:
North Korea – Level 4: Do not Travel

Do not travel to North Korea due to the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals.

  • Individuals cannot use a U.S. passport to travel to, in, or through North Korea without a special validation from the Department of State.
  • Special validations are granted only in very limited circumstances. More information on how to apply for the special validation is available here

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in North Korea as it does not have diplomatic or consular relations with North Korea. Sweden serves as the protecting power for the United States in North Korea, providing limited emergency services. The North Korean government routinely delays or denies Swedish officials access to detained U.S. citizens. 

Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or in the vicinity of North Korea, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you receive a special validation to travel to North Korea:

  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.

  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.

  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

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