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Odds and Ends
28 7, 7:44pm
The difference between what the restriction on direct travel to Cuba and the ban on travel to North Korea is that it is still legal to travel to Cuba with a US passport (some border guards will even offer not to stamp your passport); the ban on North Korea however is that it has become illegal to use a US passport to go to North Korea, as in if you tried even by the necessary indirect method through China it would not be possible as the Chinese border officials would tell you your travel document is not legal for use (US citizens also have to go with tour groups and the tour companies will know they cannot accept US documents).
For a time the same thing was used with Cuba, Libya, and Iran, but now the US says it is legal again to use your US passport to visit those countries (you just have to go indirectly for Cuba, must be supervised at all times in Iran (per Iranian law), and it is very difficult for US citizens to get visas to Libya (they need to be sponsored like they are for Russia but are still usually denied) AND the US has no consular representation in Libya, not even through a special office at the Swiss embassy like it does in Iran and used to in Cuba.