Congress Begins Work On “Otto’s Law” That Will Ban American Tourism To North Korea

WYOMING, OH-JUNE 21: The town of Wyoming, Ohio prepares for the funeral of Otto Warmbier June 21, 2017 in Wyoming, Ohio. The 22-year-old college student was released from a North Korean prison last Tuesday in a coma after spending 17 months in captivity for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Two congressmen are working up a piece of legislation titled, “Otto’s law” that will ban American travel to North Korea, according to Daily Mail.

Reps. Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) are mulling a law that will ban tourist travel to the nation. The bill is being written up in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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If the bill becomes law, Americans would have to apply for and receive a license from the Treasury Department to visit the communist country that has denied that foul play led to Warmbier’s medical condition before he was returned to the United States and subsequent death.

North Korea has accused the U.S. of conducting a “smear campaign” against the country after Otto Warmbier was returned to the U.S. in a comatose state after an 18 month detainment.

Schiff and Wilson want to prevent a tragedy like Warmbier’s from happening again.

‘Time and time again, the North Korean regime has shown that it will treat Americans who visit their nation as hostages to extract concessions from the United States, and put their lives in danger,’ Schiff said in a statement announcing the legislation.

The lawmaker said Warmbier’s brutal handling is ‘tantamount to the murder of a U.S. citizen by North Korea’ and it ‘brings further into focus the need to go beyond simply warning Americans not to visit this pariah state.’

Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Commitee, agrees that such legislation is much-needed.

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‘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,’ the lawmaker said to CNN.

Vice President Mike Pence suggested in a speech last week that the Trump administration would consider supporting such a law.

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