The Secretary of State published a Notice on Wednesday, August 2, 2017, that will restrict the use of U.S. passports to travel into, in, or through North Korea/the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), effective Friday, September 1, 2017. The Secretary has authorized the restriction due to the serious and mounting risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. citizens under North Korea’s system of law enforcement, per 22 C.F.R. 51.63 at https://www.govregs.com/regulations/title22_chapterI_part51_subpartE_section51.63. Persons who wish to travel to North Korea on a U.S. passport must obtain a special passport validation under 22 C.F.R. 51.64 at https://www.govregs.com/regulations/title22_chapterI_part51_subpartE_section51.64, and such validations will be granted only under very limited circumstances. The Department of State will publish information on how to apply for a passport with a special validation on travel.state.gov when OMB approval is effective. Since OMB issues the approval, the Department cannot provide any further information as to timing. More information on how to apply for the special validation is available on the Federal Register notice published at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/08/02/2017-16286/notice-of-information-collection-under-omb-emergency-review-request-for-approval-to-travel-to-a.
Persons currently in North Korea on a U.S. passport should depart North Korea before the travel restriction enters into effect on Friday, September 1, 2017. Persons, including those currently in North Korea, who believe they meet the criteria for a limited-validity U.S. passport and special passport validation under 22 C.F.R. 51.64 at https://www.govregs.com/regulations/title22_chapterI_part51_subpartE_section51.64 should apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
For further information about the dangers of traveling to North Korea, please see the current Travel Warning for the DRPK at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/north-korea-travel-warning.html.
For further information:
- See the Department of State’s travel website for information regarding the travel restriction at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/news/north-korea-travel-restriction.html and Country Specific Information for North Korea at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/korea-north.html.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step/ to receive important safety and security messages via email and make it easier to locate you in case of an emergency.
- Inform U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China by enrolling in STEP, if you have a limited-validity passport and special validation for travel to North Korea. U.S. citizens residing in China can contact the U.S. Embassy directly. The Embassy is located next to the Ladies’ Street (Nuren Jie) and Laitai Flower Market, near the Kempinski Hotel and Lufthansa Shopping Center on Tianze Road near the Liangmaqiao subway stop:
U.S. Embassy in Beijing
American Citizens Services Unit
No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Beijing, China 100600
Telephone: (86-10) 8531-4000
Emergency after-hours number for U.S. citizens: (86-10) 8531-4000
- Inform the Embassy of Sweden in Pyongyang by email if you have received a limited passport and special validation for travel to North Korea. Please provide the Embassy of Sweden with your name, date of birth, dates of your trip, and emergency contact information.
The Embassy of Sweden Pyongyang (U.S. Protecting Power in North Korea)
Telephone: (850-2) 3817 485 (reception)
Telephone: (850-2) 3817 904, (850-2) 3817 907 (Deputy)
Telephone: (850-2) 3817 908 (Amb.)
Facsimile: (850-2) 3817 663
If you provide information to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing or the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, officials will be able to locate you more easily in an emergency. Take note of and keep the contact details for the Swedish embassy for easy access in case of an emergency.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).