North Korea travel ban starts September 1

Thinkstock photo

WASHINGTON — Americans will not be able to travel to North Korea starting September 1, the U.S. State Department announced on Wednesday.

According to CBS News,the ban will be active for a year, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reserves the rights to extend or revoke the measure at any time.

Travelers with a U.S. passport are encouraged to leave the country before the ban goes into effect.

Read: Travel Restriction Release

The announcement that a ban would be put in place came just last month following the death of university student Otto Warmbier, who had been sentenced to 15 years in a North Korea prison with hard labor after he tried to steal a banner. At the time of his release, the 22-year-old was in a coma and died several days later.

On Wednesday, Tillerson released a statement saying the travel restriction is “due to the serious and mounting risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. citizens under North Korea’s system of law enforcement.”

Journalists and humanitarian workers can apply for an exemption if needed.