North Korea Detains Third American Citizen: Officials - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

North Korea Detains Third American Citizen: Officials

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PYONGYANG, North Korea — A U.S. citizen aged in his 50s has been detained in North Korea according to Swedish officials and local media.

The Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang said it was aware of a Korean-American citizen being detained recently, but could not comment further. The embassy looks after consular affairs for the United States in North Korea because there is no official diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported the man was detained on Friday, bringing the total number of Americans held by the isolated country to three.

The man, a Korean-American identified only by his surname Kim, had been in North Korea for a month to discuss relief activities, Yonhap said on Sunday. He was reportedly arrested at Pyongyang International Airport on his way out of the country.

An official at South Korea's National Intelligence Service said it was not aware of the reported arrest.

At least two other Americans are currently detained in North Korea. Last year, Otto Warmbier, then a 21-year-old University of Virginia student from suburban Cincinnati, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in prison after he confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner. Kim Dong Chul, who was born in South Korea but is also believed to have U.S. citizenship, is serving a sentence of 10 years for espionage.

At least one other foreigner, a Canadian pastor, is also being detained in North Korea. Hyeon Soo Lim, a South Korean-born Canadian citizen in his 60s, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2015 on charges of trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system and helping U.S. and South Korean authorities lure and abduct North Korean citizens.

This is a developing story. 

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