Another US citizen held in North Korea

Last Updated: Fri, Jun 06, 2014 21:50 hrs

Washington, June 7 (IANS) The US confirmed Friday that another American citizen has been detained in the North Korea, bringing the number of Americans held by the Asian country to three.

Jeffrey Edward Fowle, who entered North Korea as a tourist April 29, was detained for hostile acts, Xinhua quoted North Korea's official news agency KCNA as saying Friday.

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said her country was aware that Fowle had been detained in North Korea. "This is the third US citizen that has been detained in North Korea," she told reporters at a daily news briefing.

Two months ago, Pyongyang detained 24-year-old Miller Matthew Todd for "rash behaviour" as US President Barack Obama met with President of South Korea Park Geun-hye in Seoul.

Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary, was arrested in North Korea in Nov 2012 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labour last year for anti-state crimes.

The US State Department issued a travel warning last month, advising US citizens against traveling to the country even by joining a group tour, to avoid the risk of being detained.

Harf said the US remains prepared to send Robert King, its special envoy for human rights issues relating to North Korea whose past trips had been cancelled by the country, to Pyongyang to secure Bae's release.

"That's the only one I can speak about specifically," she added. "But obviously, broadly speaking, it's important for us to get all of our citizens home," she said.

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