The U.S. State Department issued an updated travel warning for North Korea on Tuesday for the first time in six months in light of the recent arrests and detention of U.S. citizens in the communist nation.
The State Department warned in a statement that entering the reclusive regime legally with a proper visa does not guarantee one’s safe return. It also said that traveling in a tour group did not act as protection.
“Do not assume that joining a group tour or use of a tour guide will prevent your arrest or detention by North Korean authorities,” the State Department said in reference to the arrests of U.S. citizens over the past 18 months.
Most recently in April, a 24-year-old American man was detained for improper behavior when he tore up his travel visa upon entering the country. He claimed that he had chosen North Korea as “a shelter,” according to a North Korean news outlet.
The State Department said that any involvement in unauthorized religious or political activities could be considered criminal in North Korea.
Some other illegal activities could include unauthorized photo taking and showing disrespect to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his family.
In addition, information on any electronic device could be reviewed by North Korean authorities.
“Please keep in mind that you have no right to privacy in North Korea and should assume your communications are monitored,” the State Department said.
By Suh Ye-seul (firstname.lastname@example.org)