Dear Adventurous Idiots, Please Stop Traveling To North Korea
When most people think about vacationing and traveling, they might think of places like Europe, Japan, Mexico etc. but how can you possibly relax and enjoy your vacation without the constant threat of being jailed for life?! Well that was apparently the thinking of a handful of Americans including a man named Otto Warmbier, a 21 year old student of The University of Virginia, who has now been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor by the closed off regime for stealing a propaganda flyer from the hotel he was staying at.
Although its not illegal to travel to North Korea, it is considered to be rather stupid, and like The Executive Director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea reminds us: “Foreigners who travel to [North Korea] on tightly controlled tours are also subjected to strict control, coercion, surveillance, and ultimately punishment if the regime thinks they have ‘fallen out of line”.
So if North korea is such a dangerous place, then why do we keep hearing about people getting detained and forced into hard labor? Well for one that danger can be a huge thrill for some, but also when given the rare opportunity to visit the country, an opportunity very few have had, its hard to turn it down, for at the very least some badass bragging rights at parties.
After seeing so many Americans arrested for obviously made up nonsense such as Matthew Miller ( for Acts hostile to the DPRK while entering under the guise of a tourist.) Jeffrey Fowle (for acting contrary to the purpose of tourism) and Sandra Suh(on charges of using her humanitarian status as a cover to gather and produce anti-Pyongyang propaganda) one would think that would be a good enough warning to others who dare enter the void that is North Korea, but apparently its not. And even though those previously mentioned were eventually released less than a year later, there still remains Kim Chong Chul who is still in detention almost a year later and now Otto Warmbier who will remain detained until the wack jobs in North Korea get bored with him and let him go, and who knows when that could be.
So as a final request to all the dumb, brave, adventurous Americans out there, please just save yourself and the rest of the country some stress and go sky diving or back packing in Europe, or just anything other than North Korea, I promise we will still think you’re just as cool.