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Otto Warmbiers travel agency stops taking American tourists to North Korea after 'risk became too high'

If this persists, please email our dedicated team at A tour agency that took Otto Warmbier into North Korea before he was detained for 18 months has said it will stop taking Americans into the reclusive state. Mr Warmbier, a student from the United States, died on Monday after he was repatriated back to his family in Ohio suffering from severe brain damage. Young Pioneer Tours , an agency operated largely by expats in the north Chinese city of Xi’an, had previously described North Korea as "probably one of the safest places on Earth to visit.” However, it said in a statement on its website on Tuesday that Mr Warmbier’s death had “led us to reconsider our position on accepting American tourists”. “There had not been any previous detainment in North Korea that has ended with such tragic finality and we have been struggling to process the result,” the statement continued. “Now, the assessment of risk for Americans visiting North Korea has become too high.” Following Mr Warmbier’s death, US President Donald Trump issued a statement offering condolences to his family and denouncing "the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim."  His death came amid growing tension between Washington and Pyongyang. Otto Warmbier is taken to North Korea's top court in Pyongyang in March 2016Credit:Reuters Mr Trump’s administration has appeared confrontational towards North Korea, and has declared an end to a period of “strategic patience” from Washington. However, Kim Jong-un's regime has carried out a series of provocative missile tests. Last week Mr Warmbier's family said they had been told their son was given a sleeping pill following his trial in March 2016 and had never woken up. Fred Warmbier, father of Otto Warmbier, speaks during a news conference at Wyoming High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.Credit:AP Fred Warmbier, Otto’s father, also heavily criticised Young Pioneer Tours, accusing it of “luring young Americans” for the North Koreans.  It remains unclear what caused the University of Virginia student’s severe health problems when he was in North Korea. John McCain, a Republican senator, accused North Korea of murdering and torturing Mr Warmbier in a Twitter post.

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Chinese tourism to North Korea increased dramatically in June

NK Pro Chinese tourism to North Korea ‘increased dramatically’ in June Huge spike in Chinese tourism to North Korea in wake of summit meetings Chinese tourism to North Korea “increased dramatically” since the beginning of June, tourism industry insiders told NK News on Friday, with train and plane capacity both expanded significantly to accommodate the expanded demand. The rise in interest is notable because it comes following two partial Chinese bans on tours to the North, one from November last year  – after repeated DPRK missiles tests – and one after a catastrophic bus accident killed 32 Chinese nationals visiting the country in April . “Within the last three weeks Chinese tourism to North Korea has increased dramatically,” said Rowan Beard of the Young Pioneer Tours travel agency, adding it appeared that the April “ban the Chinese government placed on Chinese tourists from visiting Pyongyang … has now been lifted.” As a result of the enlarged demand, train tickets from Dandong to Pyongyang have become extremely difficult to obtain, even though trains have been expanded to include up to fifteen carriages, “the longest train I’ve seen ever leave Pyongyang,” an anonymous industry source said. “The train is fully booked for at least another 15 days,” said a foreign resident of Pyongyang, adding that recent geopolitical developments meant that the “Chinese government encouraged (PRC nationals) to visit abroad and subsidized their visits.” Simon Cockerell, General Manager of the Beijing-based Koryo Tours , said that “for the last few weeks there have been literally hundreds of Chinese tourists at any one time in the DPRK, and not just in Sinuiju,” a border city that many Chinese go to on day trips from Dandong. “I was in Dandong recently and a Chinese tour operator there told me his company has 300 plus tourists going to Pyongyang the very next day,” Cockerell continued. The anonymous industry source further added that in mid-June there were over 1,000 Chinese tourists in Pyongyang simultaneously. The numbers are significant when considering only 4,000-5,000 Western visitors visit Pyongyang each year, while the increased demand even potentially impacting on North Korea’s capacity to serve the Chinese clientele. “Chinese speaking tour guides have been working non-stop and at this time of year (when) they usually get mobilized for rice transplanting,” Cockerell said, adding that “most of the Chinese speakers haven’t been doing that due to workload.” “Some English speaking tour guides have (also) been retraining in Chinese too, to help when there are simply too many mainland tourists”. Beard said that the warming relations between China and North Korea mean that “Chinese tourists feel comfortable wanting to spend money in the North Korean economy.” “Now in Dandong it seems that the people here are happy for North Korea because they all want to make money from the country opening up towards China,” he said. “Previously last year, when I talked to Chinese about North Korea they would all curse it.” The increase in visitors comes after a flurry of aviation news that reflects rapidly expanding demand for travel options between the two countries, all in the wake of the three summit meetings between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Air China, for example,  announced the resumption of its three flight-per-week Beijing to Pyongyang service in early June, following a six-month hiatus of all of the airline’s service between the two countries.

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Before You Board That Plane, Read These Helpful Travel Tips

We're got some fantastic travel tips here, whether you're planning a trip to see family or a world-wide excursion. It doesn't matter what type of transportation you choose; these tips will make any vacation enjoyable.

When away from home, don't use a public computer to access sensitive information. Unscrupulous individuals may have installed keyloggers or other malware on them to steal your information.

Leave your additional valuables at your home. An excess of valuables will make you an obvious target for theft.

Document important info when planning to travel abroad. These documents should include the embassy or consulate website of the place you're traveling, phone number, and address. You will need to be able to contact them if any issues arise when you are abroad. They will be able to help you with any problems you may encounter.

Once you know where you are going, put in some time to learn your destination. Find a map of the country or city that you are visiting. Learning this type of information will make getting around so much easier.

Always write down everything you need to pack in the form of a list. Some time before your trip, write down everything you need to bring with you. If you get in a rush and have to pack right before you leave, this list will ensure that you have everything that you need, and that you do not forget something.

Some people find that they miss the luxuries of home while away. You can take a few things you love with you. Focus on your toiletries. Think about what you use the most. Pack those that are essential.

When traveling by air, wear loose, comfortable shoes that can be removed easily. Security checks at airports now require you to remove your shoes. Comfort is of utmost importance. When you are in the airport or on the airplane, you will sit more than you will walk, so having good arch supports is not the most important thing. Sandals of flip-flops are great when traveling by air.

If you are going to vacation at a National Park you should get a National Park season pass. The passes can be purchased for $50 and are a great deal as they cover all national parks for one full year.

If you are spending a night in a hotel, pack along some travel candles. You can make a generic hotel room smell more like home with use of scented candles. The scent creates a relaxing and romantic environment, and it may help you sleep better. Many companies make these candles in convenient small sizes and without any waxy drips.

When taking a long road trip, plan for service stops along the way. You will find that service areas are few and far between, especially when on long road trips. Know where you are going to stop in advance so you can make sure your car is in good working order. Keep these numbers on you just in case.

This article details many ways for you to ensure your trip is fun and unforgettable, so take them all into consideration. You could start getting ready for your traveling experience now by making a list. ทัวร์ญี่ปุ่น ที่ไหนดี pantip ทัวร์ญี่ปุ่น ฮอกไกโด ซัปโปโร