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Friendly Reminder From the US State Department: Don’t Try to Enter North Korea Without a Visa!

by admin | August 30th, 2010

As former president Jimmy Carter returned from North Korea with a freed American prisoner, the US Department of State issued a new travel warning for the country, reminding Americans not to attempt to visit it without a North Korean visa. Although North Korea announced earlier this year that they would allow US tourists into the country year-round, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy for US citizens to visit the country.

The travel warning notes that:

“The Government of North Korea imposes heavy fines and long prison sentences with hard labor on persons who enter the country without a valid passport and a North Korean visa…Travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea is not routine, and U.S. citizens crossing into North Korea without proper documentation, even accidentally, have been subject to arrest and long-term detention.

How hard is it to get a North Korea visa? Well, it’s no walk in the park, especially since the US and North Korea don’t have consular relations with each other. US citizens can apply at the North Korean embassy in Beijing and have a visa within a day, but that’s IF you’re approved for one. There’s no way to know whether or not you’ll be approved without trying, but you can contact the Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations beforehand to see if your application is likely to be accepted. Here’s his contact information:

The Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations
820 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 972-3105
Fax: (212) 972-3154

Americans are allowed to visit only as part of organized, supervised tour groups, and the State Department’s travel warning further notes that “Security personnel may also view any unauthorized attempt you make to talk to a North Korean citizen as espionage. North Korean authorities may fine or arrest you for unauthorized currency transactions or for shopping at stores not designated for foreigners.”

Sounds like a lot of fun. Bear in mind that if you’re entering North Korea from China, you’ll also need a multiple entry Chinese tourist visa. See Chinese Visa Requirements for Tourists for details, and consider planning an alternate Chinese itinerary in case your North Korea visa application is rejected.

Since North Korea doesn’t have diplomatic relations with the US, visa services like RushMyTravelVisa can’t help you get a North Korea visa. However, we can help you get a Chinese visa, as well as visas for any other stops you plan to make on your journey.

For travel visa help, contact us today!

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