Now that travel to North Korea has opened up many people are interested in traveling to the formally forbidden territory. For seasoned travelers its an exciting opportunity but it doesn't come without risks. On November 19, 2013, the US Department of State recommended against all travel to North Korea by US citizens.
The North Korean government has not only imposed heavy fines on but also detained, arrested and imprisoned persons for violating their laws. Four US citizens have been arrested for entering the country illegally and two other US citizens who had valid DPRK visas, were arrested on other charges.
Foreign visitors may be arrested, detained or expelled for activities that are not sanctioned inside North Korea regardless if those activities took place inside the country or not, including religious and political activities. Unauthorized or unescorted travel within the country or unauthorized attempts to speak to North
Korean citizens may be viewed as espionage.
Visitors can be arrested for exchanging currency with an unauthorized vendor or taking unauthorized photographs or even shopping as a store that is not designated for foreigners. It is a criminal offense to show disrespect to any former leader or the current leader. It is a criminal act to bring in either print or electronic media that criticizes the North Korean government. The government will go through your devices.. You may or may not be allowed to keep your cell phone upon entering the country. If you are allowed to keep it you should assume all your communications will be monitored.
If you do decide to travel to North Korea make sure you know all of the laws and restrictions. Be extremely careful of everything you say and do. Do extensive research before you go and understand that you will be traveling against the advice of the US State Department so you are traveling at your own risk.