Tourism Helps North Korea Leader Kim Jong Un's Nuclear Program: State Dept. | NBC Bay Area
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Tourism Helps North Korea Leader Kim Jong Un's Nuclear Program: State Dept.

North Korea's nuclear program, developed despite harsh international sanctions, and ballistic missile testshave raised the alarm around the worl

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    In this May 10, 2016, file photo, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un watches a parade from a balcony at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. The U.S. State Department issued a warning to anyone wishing to travel there that they may be inadvertently funding the country's nuclear program.

    The State Department has issued an unusually severe warning to Americans considering traveling to North Korea, saying tourists to the authoritarian country may well be propping up its dangerous nuclear program, NBC News reported.

    "The [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] funnels revenue from a variety of sources to its nuclear and weapons programs, which it prioritizes above everything else, often at the expense of the well-being of its own people," according to the message dated Wednesday.

    "It is entirely possible that money spent by tourists in the DPRK goes to fund these programs. We would urge all travelers, before travelling to the DPRK, to consider what they might be supporting," it added.

    The State Department also warned that travelers to the Kim Jong Un-ruled country face "serious risk of arrest and long-term detention" for actions that would not be considered crimes in the U.S.