Wed, 17 Oct 2018

Plan funeral before North Korea visit: U.S. tells citizens

By Sheetal Sukhija, Phoenix News
16 Jan 2018, 09:15 GMT+10

WASHINGTON, U.S. - In a stern move, the U.S. State Department has issued a statement warning U.S. citizens traveling to North Korea, to make their funeral plans before they decide to head to North Korea.

The State Department cautioned that Americans can travel to North Korea, if they wish, but that it may just be a death wish.

It cautioned that anyone heading to the reclusive nuclear nation should prepare for the possibility of not returning.

The State Department noted on its website, “The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in North Korea as it does not have diplomatic or consular relations with North Korea.” 

Further, the statement noted that Americans who wish to travel to North Korea must be approved for a special validation, which are handed out on “very limited circumstances.” 

According to the details on its website, U.S. travelers that are given the approval to experience Kim Jong Un’s regime should be prepared for the worst, in that, they should draft a will and make funeral and property arrangements with family and friends before heading out to the dangerous country.

Recommendations made by the State Department read, “Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney; discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.”

It has also urged people to have a “contingency plan for emergency situations,” be updated on the State Department’s social media platform and alert systems.

In November last year, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Trump even added the country to a short list including Iran, Sudan and Syria. 

The decision to add North Korea came years after the country had been removed from the list by the Bush administration in 2008.

While making the announcement, Trump cited Kim Jong Un’s “murderous” rogue regime and the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, who was imprisoned in North Korea for over a year and died days after he returned to the U.S. in a coma.

Trump said, "North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil. This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea and related persons.”

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