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.