The U.S. issued its harshest travel warning against North Korea in 18 years and no one knows why

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from The Washington Post,

The State Department has long cautioned Americans about visiting North Korea, but on Tuesday it went a big step further, issuing a blanket warning against all American travel to the country. This was the first such State Department warning since North Korea began allowing American tourists in 1995, immediately raising the question: why?

The travel warning cited, somewhat cryptically, “the risk of arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens in North Korea.” It noted that two Americans traveling on valid visas have been previously arrested. But neither of those was especially recent. Eddie Jun Yong-su was arrested in November 2010, allegedly for illegal missionary work, and released in March 2011. Kenneth Bae was arrested in November 2012 on similar charges and is still being held.

The travel warning does not explain what, if anything, has happened since last November that led the State Department to elevate its warning. A State Department spokesperson said that they could not comment due to U.S. privacy laws but emphasized that travel warnings of this severity are typically in response to “chronic” threats to U.S. citizens. Some early, unconfirmed reports are emerging that an elderly American man may have been detained.

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