Congressmen Drafting Up “Otto’s Law” To Ban U.S. Citizens From Traveling To North Korea

Following the death of 22-year-old Otto Warmbier, United States citizens could potentially have their right to travel to North Korea restricted.

Republican Joe Wilson and Democrat Adam Schiff have introduced legislation to ban Americans from traveling to North Korea.

According to CNN, the bill could receive a vote as soon as next month. If the congressmen’s bill becomes law, American citizens would have to apply for a license from the Treasury Department to visit the DPRK.

Although the hermit state has denied being responsible for the conditions that led to Warmbier’s death, the tensions between the two nations have undoubtedly heightened.

via CNN:

The House foreign affairs committee will mark up a bipartisan bill that would outlaw most US travel to North Korea for five years. The legislation would ban tourism travel altogether and require US citizens who do visit the country to get a license from the Treasury Department.

The committee will take up the legislation, sponsored by South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson and California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, as early as next month, a Republican committee aide told CNN.

“We need to,” said House foreign affairs chairman Ed Royce. “People watch these websites that guarantee they can go into North Korea and be secure, be safe, these glossy presentations — and the reality is that many of these visitors end up being used as bargaining chips by the North Korean regime.”

Otto Warmbier, the University of Virginia student who was detained in North Korea for nearly a year and a half, traveled to North Korea through a China-based travel agency called Young Pioneer Tours..

Warmbier, who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in a North Korean labor camp for “hostile acts against the DPRK”, was released just over a year into his sentence. North Korean officials originally claimed that Otto had become ill from botulism after his March trial and slipped into a coma after taking a sleeping pill. That claim was quickly disputed by United States doctors.

On Thursday, June 15, doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said that the 22-year-old Warmbier had extensive loss of brain tissue and was in a state of unresponsive wakefulness.

Warmbier died on June 19 at just 22-year-old.

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