Tour agency says it won’t take more U.S. tourist to North Korea


REPORTER: YOUNG PIONEER TOURS SAID TUESDAY VIA FACEBOOK THAT THE DEATH OF 22-YEAR-OLD OTTO WARMBIER SHOWS THAT THE RISK AMERICAN TOURISTS FACE IN VISITING NORTH KOREA HAS BECOME TOO HIGH. THIS A YEAR AND A HALF AFTER THE ARREST AND DETENTION OF THE WYOMING HIGH SCHOOL GRAD. THE TOUR AGENCY BASED IN CHINA IS ONE OF MANY WELL KNOWN NORTH KOREAN TOUR OPERATORS ONCE BILLED AS DESTINATIONS YOUR MOTHER WANTS YOU TO STAY AWAY FROM CHINA PROVIDES THE LARGEST NUMBERS OF TOURISTS TO NORTH KOREA BY FAR. WARMBIER WAS AMONG THE ESTIMATED 5,000 TOURISTS WHO VISIT NORTH KOREA EVERY YEAR ON PACKAGES THAT OFTEN INCLUDE TRIPS TO PYONGYANG AS WELL AS THE DEMILITARIZD ZONE AND NEARBY RESORTS. THE YOUNG PIONEER TOURS TRAVEL AGENCY ALSO OFFERS TOURS TO IRAN AND A CHERNOBYL NUCLEAR SITE IN UKRAINE, AMONG OTHER LOCATIONS. IN A STATEMENT THE AGENCY SAYS QUOTE OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHIES ARE WITH OTTO WARMBIER AND THOSE WHO LOVED HIM. WE HAD HELD ONTO HOPE THAT HE MIGHT RECOVER AND HAVE THE LIFE THAT HE SHOULD HAVE HAD, BU NOW — BUT NOW THOSE HOPES ARE GONE, AND WE TOO ARE REELING WITH THE SHOCK OF AYOUNG MAN’S LIFE TAKEN — A YOUNG MAN’S LIFE TAKEN WELL BEFORE HIS TIME. TOURS WILL STOP IMMEDIATELY FOR U.S. CITIZENS HEADING TO NORTH KOREA. OTHER WELL KNOWN AGENCIES BASED IN AND AROUND CHINA ARE EXPECTED

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