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North Korea's on Trump's travel ban list, but that's not likely to disrupt diplomacy

The Court's 5-4 ruling on the travel ban, which restricts entry into the US from seven countries, including North Korea, comes as the administration continues its efforts to establish meaningful negotiations with Pyongyang in the wake of the President's summit with dictator Kim Jong Un earlier this month. While Tuesday's decision has sparked outrage from Democrats who argue the ban is both unconstitutional and discriminatory, there is little expectation within the administration and on Capitol Hill that it will hinder diplomatic talks with North Korea. Trump calls travel ban ruling 'a tremendous victory' According to the State Department, the decision will have little impact on a practical level, because North Korean travel to the United States was already severely limited before this ruling. And despite the ban's restrictions, a House Foreign Affairs Committee aide noted that North Korean officials could still be allowed to travel to the US on a case by case basis if they are granted a waiver similar to the one that allowed one of Kim's top advisers to visit the White House earlier this month. Democrats seem to agree with that assessment. "I don't know that the SCOTUS ruling has a whole lot of effect on talks with North Korea," a Democratic congressional aide told CNN, adding that there has only been one North Korean official to come to the US in recent months and that the ban includes fairly broad waivers for the President to exercise. "I'm not sure how much I would read into it," the aide said, despite admitting that the timing is "bizarre," given it comes just weeks after Trump's summit with Kim. "North Korea may choose to respond, but the travel ban has been in the works for a while," the aide noted. While Tuesday's decision may not have much practical significance in terms of preventing North Korean officials from entering the US, the time that has elapsed since September when the ban was issued and the court's ruling does reveal "how quickly the Trump administration has turned around on North Korea," according to Abraham Denmark, director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center. "Just a few months ago, the entire country was seen as dangerous and suspect. Now the President and the Secretary of State claim that North Korea is no longer a threat and that we can trust Kim Jong Un," Denmark said.

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/26/politics/trump-travel-ban-ruling-north-korea/index.html

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Romford travel writer documents unsettling experience visiting North Korea

Lauren visited the country two months after Otto Warmbier died. He had been imprisoned in North Korea from January 2016 until he was returned the following year to the United States in a coma. He died a few days later, with the coroner ruling the cause of death was lack of oxygen and blood to the brain. Lauren told the Recorder: “It was surreal being in North Korea. I was quite nervous when we were crossing the border because the military came onto the train, locked the doors and thoroughly searched us. “What happened to Otto was definitely at the front of my mind the whole time and I didn’t dare put a toe out of place.” Lauren Pears documents her experiences travelling in North Korea in her travel blog at laurenstraveldiary.com. Picture: Lauren Pears. North Korea is a country that sees little tourism, with only 5,000 to 6,000 tourists visiting per year. Last year tourists were only allowed to visit the country with a guided tour accompanied by two government officials, and were forbidden from going anywhere unsupervised. “One of the most astounding things I saw was an English language learning book in a library,” said Lauren. “It had phrases such as ‘The US imperialists turned the cities and villages into ashes during the Fatherland Liberation War’ which I thought was barbaric to have in a book aimed to help people learn English.” She also found that the citizens were very cold towards her tour group.

For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/romford-travel-writer-documents-unsettling-experience-visiting-north-korea-1-5579509

Trump snuck North Korea into his Muslim travel ban like a guy sneaks gum into his shopping cart full of condoms: https://on.cc.com/2MtNVzE