North Korea says detains another American citizen, KCNA reports

08 May 2017, 04:15 | Santos Harmon

North Korea has detained a US citizen on suspicion of "hostile acts" against the regime, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Sunday.

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In this combination of file photos, from left, Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim, American tourist Otto Warmbier and South Korean-born USA citizen Kim Dong Chul, are escorted at courtrooms in Pyongyang, North Korea.

North Korea announced Sunday that it has detained yet another USA citizen - the fourth now in the Hermit Kingdom's custody.

North Korea did not provide further details about the circumstances. If the charges are confirmed, it would make him the fourth USA citizen to be held by the country as tensions increase between the two countries.

Kim Sang Dok, the former accounting instructor at the Pyongyang university, was arrested at the Pyongyang International Airport on April 22, the KCNA said. "For example, North Korea freed three USA citizens during visits by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in 2009 and 2010, respectively".

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According to reports, he has been arrested for conducting "hostile acts". Kim Dong Chul, the president of a company involved in worldwide trade and hotel services, was arrested in 2015 and is serving 10 years on espionage charges, CNN reported.

As the USA has no formal diplomatic relations with North Korea, securing their release is extremely hard.

The arrests come at a time of increased tension between North Korea and the U.S. North Korea continues to test missiles and the U.S. sent warships to the Korean Peninsula as a show of force last month.

On Friday, North Korea accused American and South Korean intelligence services of plotting to assassinate Kim Jong Un with "biochemical substances", in an effort to destabilize the isolated regime.

A year later, another former United States president Jimmy Carter visited the North and won the release of American national Aijalon Mahli Gomes, sentenced to eight years of hard labour for illegally crossing into the North from China.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry called the agencies "hotbed of evils in the world" and said in a statement that they had "hatched a vicious plot to hurt the supreme leadership".



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