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US revokes visa-free entry for those who visited North Korea

The US has revoked visa-free entry rights for foreigners who have visited North Korea in the past eight years, raising concerns over North Korea’s tourism industry.

Under the US’s current policy citizens of 38 countries - including South Korea, Japan and France may enter for up to 90 days with a visa under a waiver program. The reform to this policy would mean that those who have traveled to eight countries including North Korea since March 1, 2011, are “no longer eligible” for entry and must apply for either a tourist or business visa.

The reforms will likely impact tens of thousands of people from who have visited North Korea as a tourist or for other purposes in recent years. It also has diminished hopes of the South Korean, President Moon Jae-in, that cross-border tourism projects would be possible.

This reform follows a US ban on its citizens visiting North Korea which has been in place since 2017; after an American student was detained in Pyongyang and was later released in a coma and died a few days later.
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