Are Americans allowed to travel to North Korea?

Political differences exist between the United States and North Korea.

The American government strongly discourages its citizens from traveling to the communist state.

The US government is warning American citizens about it "exercise increased caution" while attempting to travel to North Korea


The US government is warning American citizens to “exercise increased caution” when traveling to North Korea.Photo credit: AFP

Are Americans allowed to travel to North Korea?

Although it is possible for Americans to travel to North Korea, the US government strongly discourages it.

On October 5, 2022, the US re-issued a Level 4 travel advisory to warn its citizens not to visit North Korea.

US passports are considered invalid when attempting to visit North Korea.

To travel there, an American citizen’s passport must be specially validated by the US government.

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If the individual is issued a passport specifically for entry into North Korea, it is valid for one round trip.

“Do not travel to North Korea as there remains a serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of US nationals,” the US government warned.

“Exercise caution towards North Korea as there is a high risk of wrongful detention.

“The US government is unable to provide emergency services to US citizens in North Korea because it does not have diplomatic or consular ties with North Korea.

“Sweden is acting as the United States’ protecting power in North Korea and is providing limited emergency services.

“The North Korean government routinely delays or denies Swedish officials access to detained U.S. citizens.”

Which Americans have been imprisoned in North Korea?

North Korea’s detention of US soldier Travis King and college student Otto Warmbier serves as a warning against traveling to the communist country.

On June 19, 2017, Warmbier died from a lack of oxygen in his brain after the North Korean government sent him back to the United States from his detention.

When an American citizen is detained in North Korea, the US government has limited options


When an American citizen is detained in North Korea, the US government has limited optionsPhoto credit: Getty

Other American citizens detained by the North Korean government include:

  • Bruce Byron Lowrance
  • Kim Dong Chul
  • Kim Hak song
  • Euna Lee
  • Laura Ling
  • Kenneth Bae
  • Matthew Todd Miller
  • Robert Park
  • Aiyalon Mahli Gomes
  • Evan Hunziker
  • Bobby Hall

In most of the above cases, the North Korean citizen was arrested and sentenced to several years of hard labor.

What is the history between the US and North Korea?

Relations between the US and North Korea have been strained since the Korean War.

North and South Korea fought each other during the war until the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27, 1953.

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The north was supported by the communist countries of China and the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, the South found allies in the US and UK.

Emma James

Emma James is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma James joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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