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Worldwide Alerts

The following alerts are based on ISA's direct observation, U.S. Department of State recommendations, Overseas Security Advisory Council, WHO reports, and expert consultation.

Spain

Barcelona

August 18, 2017

In the early morning hours of Friday, August 18 (local time), another vehicular attack was reported in Cambrils, approximately 75 miles south of Barcelona. Police report five suspects drove into a crowd in the coastal town, before police neutralized all five suspects. Authorities consider the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils linked at this time.

In Barcelona, police have made multiple arrests in connection with the Las Ramblas area attack and the investigation is ongoing. Initial reports of a hostage situation at a café immediately following the vehicular attack were unsubstantiated. Police have removed the cordon of the area on Las Ramblas and many shops and restaurants reopened on Friday morning. The Barcelona Metro is running normally and all stations are open. Heightened security measures can be expected throughout the country.

No ISA programs were on the ground in Barcelona at the time and all other ISA students in programs across Spain are safe and accounted for. No changes to fall programs in Spain or throughout Western Europe are anticipated. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.

August 17, 2017

On Thursday, August 17, at approximately 5pm local time, a van drove into pedestrians in Barcelona's popular Las Ramblas tourist area. The driver of the vehicle fled on foot and a search is underway. Details of a second incident in a nearby cafe are still emerging. Emergency responders are currently on the scene in Las Ramblas. Las Ramblas has been sealed off and nearby metro stations have been closed until further notice. Police are instructing the public to avoid the area. No ISA programs are currently on the ground in Barcelona and no changes to fall programs are expected. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as necessary.

South Korea

Seoul

August 11, 2017

On August 5th, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution imposing additional economic sanctions against North Korea as a result of their recent missile tests. In response to these sanctions, North Korean authorities have made various statements threatening the United States, which have been met in kind by statements from the U.S. administration. Among these threats, North Korean military authorities released a statement on August 9th threatening to launch missiles in the vicinity of the U.S. Territory of Guam. Despite this increased rhetoric, Guam Governor Eddie Baza Calvo released a statement saying that the security situation in Guam remains unchanged and that there has been "no change in the threat level resulting from North Korea events." Several security analysts have noted that the United States and South Korea are scheduled to begin their annual "Ulchi Freedom Guardian" joint-military exercises on August 21st. Historically, North Korean rhetoric towards the U.S. and South Korea has increased prior to these annual defensive exercises.

ISA South Korea and Japan staff have reported that the recent rise in rhetoric has not had an effect on daily life in Seoul and Tokyo, respectively. ISA programs currently on the ground in South Korea and Japan have not been impacted by these recent provocations, and all upcoming ISA programs in Asia are continuing to run as scheduled. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students and our Worldwide Alert accordingly.

July 28, 2017

At approximately midnight on the evening of July 28th / morning of July 29th (local time), North Korea fired a ballistic missile not far from Panghyon Air Base in North Pyongan Province. Early reports indicate that the missile traveled for approximately 45 minutes and is believed to have landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan (East Sea). American, Japanese, and South Korean officials have confirmed that the launch was a ballistic missile, though authorities have yet to determine the range of the missile that was fired.

At the time of this report, there have been no changes in the security situation in South Korea or Japan. All ISA Seoul and Tokyo programs are continuing to run as scheduled. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students and our Worldwide Alert accordingly.

July 3rd, 2017

At approximately 9:40 a.m. (local time), North Korea fired a ballistic missile from Banghyon in North Pyongan Province. Early reports indicate that the missile traveled approximately 930 kilometers and may have landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

At the time of this report, there have been no changes in the security situation in South Korea or Japan, though leaders of both countries continue to condemn North Korea's provocations. All ISA Seoul and Tokyo programs are continuing to run as scheduled. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students and our Worldwide Alert accordingly.

May 28, 2017

Early Monday morning, May 29th (local time), North Korea fired a ballistic missile near the city of Wonsan, Kangwon province, toward the eastern part of the Korean Peninsula. According to a statement from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, the missile flew about 450 kilometers and reportedly landed in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

At the time of this report, there have been no changes in the security situation in South Korea. All ISA Seoul programs are continuing to run as scheduled. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students and our Worldwide Alert accordingly.

May 21, 2017

Sunday afternoon, May 21st (local time), North Korea test fired a medium-range ballistic missile near the city of Puckchang in South Pyongan Province. The missile is believed to have traveled approximately 500 Kilometers (300 miles) and landed in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) between South Korea and Japan.

At the time of this report, there have been no changes in the security situation in South Korea. All ISA Seoul programs are continuing to run as scheduled. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students and our Worldwide Alert accordingly.

May 13, 2017

Early Sunday morning, May 14th (local time), North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile near the city of Kusong in North Pyongan province. The missile is believed to have traveled approximately 700 Kilometers (435 miles) and landed in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) between South Korea and Japan. While South Korean and American authorities have yet to determine what type of missile was fired, initial reports suggest that it was not an intercontinental ballistic missile.

At the time of this report, there have been no changes in the security situation in South Korea. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students and our Worldwide Alert accordingly.

April 28, 2017, 6:00 P.M. CST

Early Saturday morning, April 29th (local time), North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile, near Bukchang, South Pyeongan Province. The missile was supposedly fired in the direction of the Sea of Japan (East Sea), and it's actual distance traveled has yet to be determined, while some news outlets are reporting that the test failed. The missile test occurred several hours after U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, addressed the United Nations during a special meeting to call for increased pressure on North Korea. As recently as Wednesday, April 26th, the Trump administration noted that it was still focusing on economic and diplomatic resolution to the increased tension with North Korea, though both U.S. and North Korean leaders continue to exchange rhetoric.

At the time of this report, there have been no changes in the security situation in South Korea. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students and our Worldwide Alert accordingly.

April 18, 2017

Recent weeks have seen an increase in tensions on the Korean Peninsula in addition to an increase in rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea (DPRK). ISA has been closely monitoring these developments, in addition to the upcoming election for a new South Korea president, and any impact these events may have on our Seoul programs. The U.S. State Department has not issued any travel alerts or warnings for South Korea, nor have there been any recommendations that U.S. citizens stop traveling to South Korea at this time. ISA Seoul resident staff has reported that daily life in Seoul remains largely unaffected by recent events, and our spring programs have proceeded uninterrupted. The Seoul staff has been in regular communication with spring students to remind them of ISA safety procedures, offer support, and advise students to keep their families back home updated on their well-being.

ISA's Office of Health, Safety and Security is continuing to monitor the security situation in South Korea, including, but not limited to, reviewing any travel recommendations provided by the U.S. and other relevant governments, analysis by trusted security resources, and the most up-to-date information on the situation on the ground provided by the Seoul resident staff. Currently, all ISA Seoul programs, current and upcoming, are expected to continue as planned. ISA will promptly communicate with students, their home universities and emergency contacts should there be any changes to the security situation in South Korea or our programs.

Spain

Barcelona

July 28, 2017

On the morning of Friday, July 28th, a commuter train crashed at the Estacion de Francia railway station in Barcelona. There have been no reported fatalities, but there are approximately 50 reported injuries. The train was inbound from Sant Vicenç de Calders, a small town about 45 miles from Barcelona. This station is not one frequently used by ISA students and the ISA Barcelona staff confirmed with the train company (RENFE) that no US citizens were on board the train. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.

Peru

Cusco

July 21st, 2017

On July 20th, the Peruvian Government declared a state of emergency in six districts throughout the Cusco and Puno regions in response to the ongoing labor dispute between public employees and the government. Continued demonstrations throughout the region have led to disruptions in transportation. The state of emergency has been issued to increase police presence throughout the regions and reduce the level of disruption to the public caused such by the strikes.

The ISA Study Center in Cusco remains unaffected by the strikes and students have been continuing classes as normal. ISA Service-Learning participants whose placements were affected by protesting have been provided alternate solutions to successfully fulfill their requirements. Students departing Cusco this weekend to return home have been advised to allow for extra time to travel to the airport. Resident staff are continuing to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.

July 14th, 2017

During the first half of July, demonstrations and strikes have taken place in the region of Cusco due to labor disputes between public employees and the government. Currently, the public education and health care sectors have joined the movement in addition to groups protesting the construction of a new airport. Classes at the ISA Cusco study center have not been affected by the strikes, allowing students to attend their courses as usual. Some ISA Cusco Service-Learning participants serving local health care organizations have experienced interruptions to their schedules, and ISA staff has been working with these students to find alternate solutions. ISA Cusco students have been advised of the protests, disruptions to transportation, possible congestion within the city, and areas to avoid. We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and provide updates to students as needed.

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For further information, please refer to ISA's Health and Safety section, particularly the information regarding the monitoring of world-wide security levels.

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