U.S. informed of its citizen being held in DPRK
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has informed the United States that a second American has been held in its hand, U.S. State Department said on Friday, Xinhua reported.
The DPRK sent a confirmation through its representative at the United Nations in New York, but provided no details on the detainee's identification, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.
"That is obviously why we have already taken steps working through our protecting power, the Swedes, to seek access so we can determine who it is and the circumstances," said Crowley.
The official Korean Central News Agency said Thursday that an American was detained on Monday for illegally entering the country across the DPRK-China border, the second in almost a month that Robert Park, a human rights activist, was detained in the country for the same reason.
The detention of U.S. citizens came months after two American female journalists, who had been arrested in March for illegally entry and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor, were released by the DPRK.
After former president Bill Clinton paid a 20-hour private visit to Pyongyang and a high-profile meeting with the country's top leader Kim Jong Il, the two journalists were announced free by Pyongyang.
The dramatic detention-release event was widely viewed as a tactic held by Pyongyang to force the Obama administration to kick off the direct talks, in order to significantly improve relations with the United States, including reaching a permanent peace treaty and normalizing relations.