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Donald Trump orders sweeping new travel ban, including N. Korea

Donald Trump's controversial travel ban will be replaced with new rules for nationals from eight countries, including Venezuela and North Korea. Washington said the nations failed to meet demands for information sharing.

Citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen will face restrictions on entry to the US under a new order signed by President Donald Trump on Sunday.

The new proposals will replace his original travel ban which was issued in February and expired on Sunday.

"Making America safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet," Trump tweeted shortly after the new policy was announced.

A senior White House official described the new measures as "tough but tailored restrictions" that are being put in place because the countries concerned have failed to meet US demands for information sharing.

Security risks

The affected countries were deemed to be pose security threats and had shown "inadequate" intelligence cooperation on the travel plans of potential criminals.

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Travel ban in the US hinders asylum

Somalia, included in the previous ban, is not listed. The new restrictions are set to go into effect on October 18.

Several analysts said the inclusion of Venezuela and North Korea appeared to be an effort to head off criticism that the original ban had targeted Muslim-majority nations.

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry on Monday said the US was using the travel ban – which in its case apply only to a long list of government officials and their families – as a form of political bullying.

The US added Venezuela to its travel ban list, citing poor security and a lack of cooperation with American authorities.

"These types of lists....are incompatible with international law and constitute in themselves a form of psychological and political terrorism," the Venezuelan foreign ministry said in a statement.

Read more: US ban on North Korea travel comes into force

Trump announced the first travel ban a few days after taking office earlier this year, but it has since been revised after being the subject of several legal challenges over which relatives of existing US residents should be included and how the ban would affect refugees.

The original ban blocked entry for nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.

Rules loosened

While Iran remains on the list, valid student and exchange visitor visas will still be processed with enhanced screening.

The country's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, accused Trump of "fake empathy for Iranians," describing the new ban on Twitter of being "even more offensive."

Iraq, meanwhile, was also found to fall short of complying with US information requirements, but instead of entry restrictions Trump's order calls for Iraqis to receive additional scrutiny.

The new ban could also complicate the Supreme Court's review of the original presidential order, which is scheduled for argument next month.

mm/cmk (AP, dpa)

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