2018 Winter Olympics: Americans warned to draft a will if travel - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

2018 Winter Olympics: Americans warned to draft a will if traveling to North Korea

North Korea is given a level 4 warning from US Dept. of State. (Source: US Dept. of State) North Korea is given a level 4 warning from US Dept. of State. (Source: US Dept. of State)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea are set to begin in three weeks on Feb. 9.

That means several Americans, both athletes and fans, will be traveling to the region. 

What the U.S. Department of State doesn't want is Americans thinking they can travel to North Korea so they've extended a travel warning. 

As of Jan. 10 the "travel advisory level" has been repeated at its highest level of "4: Do Not Travel." 

The distance from the Olympic stadium to the North Korean boarder is only about 110 miles. 

The warning on the Department of State's website is pretty severe saying, "Do not travel to North Korea due to the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals."

It reminds Americans that travel to North Korea isn't allowed with just a passport 

"Individuals cannot use a U.S. passport to travel to, in, or through North Korea without a special validation from the Department of State," the site says. 

Anyone who did want to travel to North Korea would have to apply for a special validation and those are rarely granted. 

If you were, somehow, granted a special validation the Department of State has a pretty morbid list of tasks you must complete before you leave:

  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
  • Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.

To be fair to North Korea there are several other countries that are also listed at "Level 4: Do Not Travel" including Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. 


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