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558. Are news reporting organizations and journalists authorized to conduct activities in North Korea?


The general license at § 510.522 of the North Korea Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 510 (NKSR), authorizes news reporting organizations that are U.S. persons, and their U.S. person employees to engage in certain transactions in North Korea, provided that such transactions are ordinarily incident and necessary to their journalistic activities or the establishment or operation of a news bureau in North Korea.  The authorized activities include: hiring and compensating support staff, logistics personnel, or other office personnel as needed; leasing or renting office space; renting and using telecommunications facilities; and, under certain conditions, exporting and reexporting to North Korea, and subsequently reexporting from North Korea, equipment that is not subject to the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730 through 774) (EAR).  Exports and reexports of items that are subject to the EAR must be authorized pursuant to a license or license exception (for example, License Exception TMP) issued by BIS.

While certain transactions ordinarily incident to travel and certain exports and imports of information and informational materials are exempt under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. § 1702(b) (IEEPA), these exemptions do not apply to transactions prohibited pursuant to the United Nations Participation Act.

Moreover, as of September 1, 2017, U.S. passports are invalid for travel into, in, or through North Korea. However, in limited circumstances, applicants may be eligible for a Special Validation Passport from the State Department that will allow them to travel for specific purposes. See travel.state.gov for additional details.

Date Updated: February 15, 2024

Date Released
March 1, 2018