The Secretary of State published a Notice on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 that will restrict the use of U.S. passports to travel into, in, or through North Korea/the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), effective Friday, September 1, 2017. The Secretary has authorized the restriction due to the serious and mounting risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. citizens under North Korea's system of law enforcement, per 22 C.F.R. 51.63. Persons who wish to travel to North Korea on a U.S. passport must obtain a special passport validation under 22 C.F.R. 51.64, and such validations will be granted only under very limited circumstances. The Department of State will publish information on how to apply for a passport with a special validation on travel.state.gov when OMB approval is effective. Since OMB issues the approval, the Department cannot provide any further information as to timing. More information on how to apply for the special validation is available on the Federal Register notice published here.
Persons currently in North Korea on a U.S. passport should depart North Korea before the travel restriction enters into effect on Friday, September 1, 2017. Persons, including those currently in North Korea, who believe they meet the criteria for a limited-validity passport and special passport validation under 22 C.F.R. 51.64 should apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
Source: Overseas Security Advisory Council