Young Pioneer Tours

Can Americans travel to North Korea in 2024?

Since September 1st 2017 the US State Department introduced travel restrictions to North Korea for all American tourists. This restriction is valid for one year, but has been renewed each year on the 31st of August unless otherwise revoked by the US Secretary of State. Can Americans travel to North Korea? The US State Department Travel restriction prohibits the use of a US passport for travel to, in, and through the DPRK. Four categories of US visitors are allowed to apply for an exemption to the rule. Journalists, Red Cross officials, humanitarian workers and those working “in the national interest”.

Can dual national Americans travel to North Korea?

By the letter of the law, dual-nationals can use their non-US passport to travel to North Korea as a tourist and indeed have been reported as doing so. We obviously do not offer, nor imply offering legal advice, but as per the wording of the US, US passports have been invalidated for travel to the DPRK, rather than a blanket ban for citizens.

It should though be noted that there is no US embassy in North Korea should dual nationals run into problems. Technically in this case they would be assisted by the country of their passport.

Can Americans visit North Korea as a tourist? Even for one day?

As the law stands there is no material difference between going for a day or going for a month. In the meantime, we’d suggest our North Korea Borderlands Tour – you will never set foot on North Korean soil, but you will see and experience North Korean border life. We also have our South Korean Borderlands Tour where you catch glimpses of the North Korean landscape and have an up and close encounter with the South Korean military.

If I find a travel company willing to take me to North Korea on my US passport, can I go?

Technically, yes. The North Koreans did not block Americans from entering North Korea on US passports. This was a US government decision. That said, YPT is not willing to assist a US passport traveller in committing a crime against their country, and we strongly recommend that you respect your government’s laws.

Keep in mind people have not only been arrested, but have lost their passport for doing this.

Is the North Korea US travel ban the same as Cuba travel ban?

Americans were previously banned from spending any money in Cuba, which constituted a de facto ban on visiting. Passports were never confiscated as a result of visiting Cuba; the worst that could happen was a fine. Granted, this fine could be pretty high.

Have any Americans travelled to North Korea since the ban?

Previously some Americans involved in the humanitarian sector were allowed to stay in the DPRK and there have also been some rumoured high-level meetings behind closed doors. In this respect, it is not a blanket ban, with people able to apply for an exemption in order to travel to North Korea.

Famously of course Donald Trump briefly stepped into the DPRK at the DMZ, while Travis King also went slightly further from the same exit point. In fairness neither had their passports with them at the time.

Will Americans be allowed to travel to North Korea again?

If dialogue and diplomatic relations continue to improve between North Korea and the US, there is a chance for this travel restriction to be lifted which then we will make announcements on our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Read more about travelling safely within North Korea and how to get a North Korean visa

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