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Americans travelling to North Korea should draft will and plan funeral

18 Apr 2018 The Independent

Americans wanting to travel to North Korea should make preparations for their death, the United States Department of State has warned. In updated travel information issued last week, the State Department advised US citizens to draft a will, plan their funeral and make arrangements for the care of their children and pets if they wish to visit the rogue state. US travellers need to apply for special validation from the department "due to the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of US nationals." Tourists were banned from visiting the country without special validations following the death of US student Otto Warmbier, who was arrested while on holiday and sentenced to 15 years of hard labour. Mr Warmbier was subsequently released last June and died days after returning to the US in a coma.  Inside the daily life in North Korea 19 show all Inside the daily life in North Korea 1/19 People reading a newspaper at the metro station 2/19 Thoughts of the leaders on the tram. They have about a dozen of these on every tram, all with different thoughts 3/19 Young people training for a big upcoming festival 4/19 People at the Pyongyang's annual marathon 5/19 Many stars on one of the trolleys in Pyongyang 6/19 An intimidating poster in a primary school in North Korea. 7/19 Solar panels installed on a street lamp. 8/19 A poster on the window next to one of the venues we visited in Pyongyang 9/19 Kids playing football next to the Arch of Triumph. After a while tourists were allowed to join, so some of us did 10/19 Class in an educational center in Pyongyang (where people over 17 years old can attend any classes they choose after school, for free) 11/19 People waving at me during the Pyongyang marathon 12/19 People having a great time dancing at a public park 13/19 A metro driver in a metro station in Pyongyang 14/19 Fireworks to mark the birthday of the Eternal President Kim Il Sung on our last night in Pyongyang 15/19 My wonderful tour guide at a public park 16/19 One of the parks in Pyongyang 17/19 A person rowing some boats for the day at a river in Pyongyang 18/19 The National War Museum 19/19 Public park in Pyongyang North Korea is listed as a "Level 4 - Do not travel" country, alongside Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Yemen.  The department said those who receive a special validation to travel to the isolated nation should "draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney" and "discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc." At least 16 US citizens have been detained by the authoritarian state over the last 10 years. Those violating its laws could be "held in isolation without charges for lengthy periods of time," "interrogated," "compelled to draft public confessions" and "sent to a labour camp for years". UN security council unanimously agrees new sanctions for North Korea The department said it is unable to provide emergency services to US citizens because it does not have an embassy in the hermit kingdom.  Instead, it relies on Sweden to act as the protecting power, but cautions: "The North Korean government routinely delays or denies Swedish officials access to detained US citizens." Last year, Donald Trump declared the US had designated North Korea a state sponsor of terror, adding the country to the list with Iran, Syria and Sudan.  The US President said he made the decision because Pyongyang's "murderous regime" had assassinated Kim Jong-un's estranged half-brother in Malaysia and "tortured Otto Warmbier, ultimately leading to that fine young man's death." More about: North Korea Otto Warmbier Donald Trump Kim Jong-Un Syria Iraq Iran Afghanistan Yemen Reuse content

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