The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert on Nov. 23. Alerts from the department are usually focused on specific countries. Such is the case with the warning raised against travel to North Korea on Nov. 20.
The alert issued on Monday, however, did not specify any country, meaning Americans are being warned for possible terrorist attacks wherever they are traveling. The alert was particularly chilling since Thanksgiving is coming and parades are being held.
“U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events,” the Department stated. The alert specifies threats coming from the ISIS (ISIL or Daesh), al-Quaeda and the Boko Haram, which is now the deadliest terrorist organization in the world.
The State also warns that other terrorist organizations are planning attacks in multiple regions. Threats were also identified from unaffiliated people planning an attack for being inspired by major terrorist groups such as the Paris attacks, the Beirut bombing, the downing of the Russian passenger plane and just recently, the hostage situation in Mali.
On Friday, The State Department issued a warning against all travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea. The department highly advised Americans to consider carefully the need for travel to the country. The Department stressed that the U.S. does not maintain diplomatic or consular with North Korea. This means that the government has no means to provide services to U.S. citizens in North Korea.
The Department stressed the arrests of U.S. citizens who entered North Korea legally as well as those who accidentally crossed the territory without valid visas. The country had also detained U.S. citizens without charges and stopped them from departing. It also detained those who traveled the country as part of organized tours.
Tourists were also detained due to unsanctioned religious or political activities, unauthorized or unescorted travel inside North Korea as well as unauthorized attempts to speak directly to citizens. Arrests were also made against travelers exchanging currency with an unauthorized vendor, for taking unofficial photographs or simply for shopping at stores not designated for tourists. As expected, detention were also made for those who disrespected Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung or the country’s current leader, Kim Jong Un. Furthermore, GPS-trackers and satellite phones are not allowed.