Regarding the Aug. 26 news article “End sought for N. Korea travel ban”:

Any lifting of the U.S. travel ban on North Korea must go with assurances that Americans who travel to North Korea to meet family members, do business, cover news stories, teach and provide humanitarian aid will not be subject to intimidation, arrests, and harsh and prolonged sentencing on unacceptable grounds, influenced by the political climate. Between 2009 and 2019, North Korea detained 16 Americans without due process, many of whose releases had to be negotiated by senior U.S. officials or prominent former officials, including two presidents — as if they were political hostages.

American travelers must also be confident that if they are detained they will receive regular visits from the protecting power for the United States in North Korea, Sweden, which has not always been the case. North Korea moreover owes an honest accounting to the United States about what happened to American student Otto Warmbier, who was returned in a coma, and it owes compensation to his family for his brutal treatment.

Though engagement between Americans and North Koreans should be encouraged to help normalize relations and facilitate humanitarian aid, the United States must insist on the security of its citizens in accordance with long-held international norms and practices.

Roberta Cohen, Washington

The writer is co-chair emeritus
of the Committee for Human Rights
in North Korea.