May 25, 2024

How the U.S.’s North Korea travel ban politicizes humanitarian aid

The need for State Department approval of aid projects risks undermining NGO independence

The U.S. travel ban prohibiting American passport holders from traveling to North Korea went into effect at the beginning of the month.

Since the ban was announced earlier this summer, both media and government sources have cited three important exemptions: humanitarians, journalists, and those whose travel is considered "in the national interest." However, there was little concrete information on how exactly these exemptions can be obtained, and what the criteria there are to determine if an activity falls within them.

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