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Simply put, it happened while the US and North Korea were threatening to bomb each other for much of last year — but the move doesn’t make much sense now, as relations between Washington and Pyongyang have much improved in recent months. Here’s how North Korea ended up on Trump’s travel ban list Trump actually didn’t bar North Koreans from coming to America in the first two bans he issued last year. The one the Supreme Court upheld on Tuesday was the third iteration after lower courts struck the first two down. The original bans narrowed in on Muslim-majority countries. But that’s not all Trump was up to last year: He spent much of it threatening war with North Korea over Pyongyang’s growing nuclear arsenal. Tensions reached an especially high point in June 2017, when North Korea returned American Otto Warmbier from around 17 months in captivity. He came home in a coma, likely due to his time in prison, and died six days later from brain injuries. That led the State Department to bar Americans from traveling to North Korea, citing the danger to their lives. Then the White House took it one step further in September 2017 , when it added North Korea to the travel ban list.
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Heng, who reportedly has ties to the North Korean embassy in Singapore, described the planned trip as "almost like a tour to North Korea" and is part of larger efforts to engage Singapore's business community. VNT Global Consulting, a Singapore firm that has expressed interest in joining the trip, described it as a "very good opportunity." The report comes at a time when North Korea remains under heavy international sanctions. In 2015, Singapore was Pyongyang's sixth-largest trading partner, with two-way trade surpassing $29 million. The trip would help North Korea earn foreign currency -- each traveler would have to pay North Korean services about $3,600 if traveling from Singapore, and about $3,300 if leaving from Beijing. Costs cover all transportation and accommodation. North Korea has been seeking tourism dollars, and engagement in 2018 is raising the interest of Japanese travelers, according to a travel agency in Tokyo. The company, which specializes in North Korea travel, said it has received applications from 96 people interested in traveling to the state in 2018. That number is significantly higher than the number of total travelers in either 2016 or 2017. Each year about 50 people traveled to North Korea from Japan, Yonhap reported Wednesday.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.upi.com/Singapore-business-exec-to-travel-to-North-Korea/9421529505766/ทัวร์ฮอกไกโด 2561