Wednesday, April 13, 2011

US national arrested in North Korea

An American has been held in North Korea said two State Department officials.
On Tuesday, Washington urged Pyongyang for the release of an unidentified US citizen on humanitarian grounds, VOA News said.
Reports said the detained man had a business visa to enter the communist country.
Having no diplomatic relations with North Korea, Swedish officials are acting on behalf of the US. They have visited the man and are negotiating for his release, in a report by CNN.
The details of arrest were not disclosed by Swedish officials. It is also not yet known why he went to the country. His identity is being kept private as requested by his relatives.
Former US President Jimmy Carter is scheduled to visit Pyongyang later this month. It is unconfirmed whether he will intervene on the man's behalf.
In August, the former president was able to negotiate the release of American Mahli Gomes who had been arrested for illegal entry. He was fined $600,000 and sentenced to eight years of hard labor because he crossed the border via China.
Former US President Bill Clinton intervened in August 2009 for the release of US media people, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, who were arrested and sentenced to 12 years hard labor.
The relationship between the North Korea and the US had been rocky over the past years due to Washington's opposition to Pyongyang's nuclear program development.
US alliance with South Korea is also another source of concern.
Details of this report here.

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