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Move follows death of Otto Warmbier after he was returned to U.S. year-long stay in prison

The Associated Press Posted: Jul 21, 2017 8:01 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 21, 2017 8:01 AM ET

U.S. officials say the Trump administration will ban American citizens from travelling to North Korea following the death of university student Otto Warmbier, who was returned to the U.S. in a coma after spending time in a North Korean prison.

The officials said Friday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had determined to implement a “geographical travel restriction” for North Korea, which would make the use of U.S. passports to enter the country illegal.

They said the restriction would go into effect 30 days after a notice is published in the Federal Register, but it was not immediately clear when that would be. There was no announcement in Friday’s editions of the government publication.

The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss the decision before it is announced, and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student who spent more than a year in captivity, died in the U.S. last month after he was released by North Korea and returned home to Ohio.

Warmbier had confessed he tried to steal a propaganda banner while visiting with a tour group. He had been sentenced to 15 years with hard labour for subversion. 


U.S. tourist Otto Warmbier, centre, died last month shortly after he was released from a North Korean prison. (Kyodo/Reuters)

With files from CBC News

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