The Foreign Ministry has stepped up its cautionary tone to Israeli travelers, calling on them “to refrain from travel, for any purpose, to North Korea.”
The Ministry cited in its call “an increase in tensions in the region” and the fact that “North Korea is under a comprehensive system of international sanctions, including severe limitations on any financial and commercial cooperation.”
“In light of the fact that the State of Israel has no diplomatic relations with North Korea, in the case in that an Israeli citizen finds himself stuck in any sort of distress while in North Korea, Israeli representatives will be unable to help or give any sort of response.”
Nevertheless, the Ministry emphasized that “the decision to visit North Korea is solely that of the individual, for which only he bears responsibility.”
The announcement comes as Israeli tourism company Tarbutu has announced planned tourist visits to North Korea in coming months.
“North Korea is without question one of the most fascinating countries in the world today,” said Tarbutu program manager Haim Peres as he promoted the trips. “It is a closed country cut off from the world, including its neighbors. More is unknown than known about the country.”
North Korea has sought to display its power recently in a series of missile tests. On Sunday, North Korea unsuccessfully attempted a missile launch in Sinpo, an eastern coastal city, just hours before US Vice President Mike Pence landed in the area for a previously-scheduled visit.