Biz-novosti

North Korea Says It Has Detained A Fourth US Citizen


North Korea's other American detainees include Otto Warmbier, who was 21 years old when he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March of 2016, Kim Dong-chul, who was accused of spying and sentenced to 10 years in prison in the same month as Warmbrier, and Kim Sang-duk, a professor who was teaching classes at the same university that Kim Hak-song was arrested at, two weeks ago.

He said that Kim Hak-song became a US citizen in the 2000s and returned to China after about 10 years of living in the United States.

"We are aware of reports that a USA citizen was detained in North Korea", a State Department spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency on Sunday.

"A relevant institution of the DPRK detained American citizen Kim Hak Song on May 6 under a law of the DPRK on suspension of his hostile acts against it", KCNA said. They described Kim as being committed to improving North Korea's agricultural economy.

- American Sandra Suh was deported in April 2015 after being accused of making anti-North Korea propaganda while visiting the country. A third US citizen, Kim Sang Dok, was detained in late April for hostile acts, according to KCNA.

Kim Dong-chul, who is in his early 60s and was born in South Korea but became a US citizen in 1987, was sentenced to 10 years in prison last April on charges of spying.

The KCNA said Kim had worked for Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

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The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology - founded by evangelical Christians from overseas and opened in 2010 - is known to have a number of American faculty members. Kim had been very concerned about the food shortage in North Korea.

North Korea has in the past used detained Americans to extract high-profile visits from the United States, with which it has no formal diplomatic relations.

Some foreigners have said after their release that their declarations of guilt had been coerced while in North Korean custody.

The arrest of two Americans in such a short time comes as Pyongyang exchanges hostile rhetoric with the U.S. over its banned missile and nuclear weapons programmes.

Pyongyang is still investigating Kim's crimes, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

President Donald Trump has been vacillating between calling Kim Jong Un a "smart cookie" and threatening military action against North Korea, while the Kim regime has been warning of a nuclear attack in the face of any USA threat.

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