While vehemently warning Americans against traveling to the oppressive regime, the State Department said Wednesday that citizens who decide to go anyway should be prepared for the worst.
The department released an updated travel advisory that provides a list of things Americans should keep in mind if they can’t control the urge to go to North Korea.
What stands out is the State Department’s advice that Americans planning to take a trip to the Hermit Kingdom make funeral plans and draft a will beforehand — the point being that those who visit North Korea do so at their own risk.
“Do not travel to North Korea due to the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals,” the State Department emphasizes at the top of the advisory.
That being said, Americans can travel to the country under “very limited circumstances” if they are given “special validations.” A U.S. passport, the State Department notes, will not be enough.
Moreover, due to the fact that the U.S. government does not have “diplomatic or consular relations with North Korea,” emergency services cannot be provided by the U.S.
“Sweden serves as the protecting power for the United States in North Korea, providing limited emergency services,” the advisory states, while adding, “The North Korean government routinely delays or denies Swedish officials access to detained U.S. citizens.”
Meanwhile, Americans who disregard the warnings should plan ahead in case they don’t return to the U.S. safely — namely, they should make sure their affairs are in order.
“Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney,” the advisory reads.
“Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.”
The State Department also highlighted the importance of keeping up with its social media accounts and alert systems, as well as having a “contingency plan” in place “for emergency situations.”