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More recently, Kim Jong-un announced a summit in South Korea with President Moon Jae-in to discuss suspending nuclear and missile tests. While these slivers of optimism are worth grabbing onto, it is important not to forget the history North Korea has inflicted on its people. Beyond Kim Jong-un’s reclusive regime threatening global war, North Korea’s extreme control over its people is enforced via arbitrary arrests routinely resulting in torture, harsh detention centers or public executions. “Kim Jong-un’s power is built on fear and terrible rights abuses,” said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch Deputy Director, Asia Division. “With its gulags, forced labour, and public executions, the North Korean government presents a throwback to the worst abuses of the 20th century.” North Korea also punishes citizens for possessing unauthorised information from the outside world such as mobile phones, Hollywood movies and Western music. Despite these being known facts, thousands of international tourists visit the enigmatic nation every year. People write goodwill messages during a pro-unification rally ahead of the upcoming summit between North and South Korea in Seoul, South Korea April 26, 2018. Source: Reuters/Jorge Silva SEE ALSO: Problematic pudding: Korean Summit dessert draws ire from Japan According to Simon Cockerell , a Beijing-based general manager of Koryo Tours, one of the largest international operators of trips to North Korea, around 95 percent of tourists to the secretive country are Chinese. Only 4,000 to 4,500 of them come from the West. Contrary to Western media’s depiction of grey buildings and eerie streets, North Korea boasts a colorful array of tour programs.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/04/should-we-still-be-traveling-to-north-korea/
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Simply put, it happened while the US and North Korea were threatening to bomb each other for much of last year — but the move doesn’t make much sense now, as relations between Washington and Pyongyang have much improved in recent months. Here’s how North Korea ended up on Trump’s travel ban list Trump actually didn’t bar North Koreans from coming to America in the first two bans he issued last year. The one the Supreme Court upheld on Tuesday was the third iteration after lower courts struck the first two down. The original bans narrowed in on Muslim-majority countries. But that’s not all Trump was up to last year: He spent much of it threatening war with North Korea over Pyongyang’s growing nuclear arsenal. Tensions reached an especially high point in June 2017, when North Korea returned American Otto Warmbier from around 17 months in captivity. He came home in a coma, likely due to his time in prison, and died six days later from brain injuries. That led the State Department to bar Americans from traveling to North Korea, citing the danger to their lives. Then the White House took it one step further in September 2017 , when it added North Korea to the travel ban list.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.vox.com/2018/6/26/17506436/travel-ban-supreme-court-north-korea-trump