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international

US imposes travel ban on NK citizens


SEOUL - The United States imposed travel restrictions Sunday on North Korea and seven other nations deemed to be a security risk; under a proclamation signed by President Donald Trump, citizens of North Korea, Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen will face travel restrictions starting Oct. 18.

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The tension between Washington and Pyongyang continued to escalate on Monday, with the US barring North Koreans from the country while North Korea’s anti-US rhetoric took a new twist.

North Korea’s state media Korean Central News Agency claimed on Monday that the North Korean ruling party and parliament sent open letters to political parties and parliaments of various nations calling on them to join the “anti-US movement.”

The letters justified North Korea’s nuclear program as being a deterrence against US aggression, and claimed that US President Donald Trump was pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war. The North’s state media, however, did not clarify whether the letters have been sent and did not specify the recipients of the letters.

“Justice and truth are being crushed in the international stage due to the self-righteousness and abuse of authority, nuclear threat from the likes of Trump,” the Workers’ Party of Korea said, referring to the US president as a “degenerate, main culprit in destruction of peace.”

The statement went on to claim that the sovereignty of nations, and the rights of the people were being violated, and called on political parties of various nations to work together against the US.

“(The Workers’ Party of Korea) calls on the parties of the countries that value sovereignty, justice and peace to join the anti-US movement, the anti-US front as one, to destroy the US’s reckless scheme to push the world into a nuclear disaster.”

North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly also issued a letter repeating such claims.

The letter claimed that the purpose of North Korea’s nuclear program was to “defend the sovereignty, and rights to exist and develop the country and the people against the nuclear threat and blackmail of the US.”

The alleged letters come two days after the US flew bombers and fighter jets in international airspace close to North Korea in a show of force on Saturday. Although the maneuver did not involve South Korea’s military, South Korea’s presidential office has since stated that concerned authorities in Seoul were closely informed.

North Korea has responded harshly to Trump’s UN address in which he lambasted Pyongyang and its leader Kim Jong-un in a typically colorful and direct manner.

Saying that Kim was on a “suicide mission,” Trump said that the price of an attack against the US or its allies would be complete destruction.

In response, North Korea warned of retaliation of the “highest measure,” which according to Pyongyang’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho could take the form of a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific.

As for the US travel ban, North Koreans were added to the list of those subjected to new restrictions in entering the US.

The measures, implemented under a proclamation signed by the US president, apply to individuals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. The restrictions, varying to some degree depending on the nationality, will go into effect on Oct. 18.

Under the new measures, North Koreans will no longer be eligible for immigration and non-immigration visas. The latter includes business and tourism visas.

“Making America safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet,” Trump tweeted late Sunday after the new policy was announced.

Published : September 26, 2017

By : The Korea Herald/ANN