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US ends visa-free entry for visitors to North Korea

WASHINGTON: Washington on Monday revoked visa-free entry rights to the United States for foreigners who have visited North Korea in the past eight years, potentially dealing a new blow to the isolated country’s nascent tourist industry.

The US allows citizens of 38 countries — including South Korea, Japan and France — to enter for up to 90 days without a visa under a waiver programme.

But visitors who have travelled to eight countries including North Korea since March 1, 2011 are “no longer eligible”, details posted Monday on the US Customs and Border Protection website showed, and they will have to apply for tourist or business visas.

The other seven countries — most of them in the Middle East — were already on the exclusion list.

The change will affect tens of thousands of people from visa waiver countries who have gone to the North as tourists or for other purposes in recent years.

 

 

 

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.