(CNN) — North Korea has drawn a small but steady flow of US travelers since easing restrictions on American tourism in 2010.
But come September 1, 2017, US citizens will be barred from visiting the Hermit Kingdom — so called for its isolationist policies.
According to the US State Department, the ban has been instituted because of the “serious and mounting risk of arrest and long-term detention of US citizens …” and “imminent danger” posed by North Korea’s “arbitrary system of law enforcement.”
The policy follows the death of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who was detained in North Korea for attempting to steal a propaganda banner. Of the 18 people detained since 1995, 16 have been Americans, including three US citizens still in North Korean custody.
Some tour operators have already stopped taking Americans, including Hong Kong-based Eastern Vision and China-based Young Pioneer Tours — …