Government AffairsSingaporeans who visit North Korea in risk of ‘inadvertently violating’ UNSC sanctions and national laws

Singapore warns citizens after local tour agents offer North Korea packages

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Tour operators in Singapore have been known to offer tour packages to Pyongyang since the 1990s.
Tour operators in Singapore have been known to offer tour packages to Pyongyang since the 1990s.
Singaporeans should note that Singapore has no diplomatic representation in North Korea, which constrains our ability to extend consular assistance to Singaporeans who travel here.– Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore

SINGAPORE – The Singapore government has warned citizens who visit North Korea that they risk “inadvertently violating” United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions and Singapore laws.

In an effort to halt North Korea’s nuclear programme, the UN has been tightening sanctions on the reclusive country since 2006. The sanctions include making it illegal to trade luxury products with the country.

Singapore had suspended trade relations with North Korea since November 2017.

“It has come to our attention that some Singapore-based tour operators are offering holiday tour packages to North Korea,” Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement issued on Sept 3.

“The situation in North Korea remains unpredictable. Singaporeans who visit North Korea should be aware of the risks of inadvertently violating the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions and Singapore’s corresponding laws, which remain in place.

“Singaporeans should note that Singapore has no diplomatic representation in North Korea, which constrains our ability to extend consular assistance to Singaporeans who travel here.”

Tour operators in Singapore have been known to offer tour packages to Pyongyang since the 1990s. There are at least four local tour operators offering such tours.

Tour operator Iwannatravel reportedly halted all tours to North Korea to avoid any potential violation of UNSC sanctions.

Its spokesperson told TODAYonline that it started working with North Korean operators to offer tours three years ago, and “will only resume (tours) after related sanctions are lifted and the situation improves”.


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