North Korea detains another USA citizen for 'hostile acts'

10 May, 2017, 04:00 | Author: Essie Rivera

The detention of a fourth USA citizen by North Korea over the weekend has drawn concern from the United States, which will work through the Swedish embassy to seek release of the detainees, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said during a press briefing on Monday, APA reports quoting sputniknews.

But it said Kim had been working for the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) - an institution founded by evangelical Christians from overseas and opened in 2010, which is known to have a number of American faculty members.

According to UPI, a curse word-filled statement on North Korea's Korean Central News Agency from an government spokesman called Gardner "human dirt" and a "psychopath".

The wife of a USA citizen who worked at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) and was detained from leaving North Korea this weekend pleaded for his immediate release.

One other of the four Americans detained, Kim Sang-duk, also taught at PUST.

An ethnic Korean born in China in 1963, Kim studied agriculture at a Chinese university, but later studied theology in Los Angeles, California, between 1995 and 2005.

China's relations with North Korea have deteriorated sharply of late, but Beijing has repeatedly urged the United States and North Korea to refrain from provoking each other and instead return to the negotiating table. "When a USA citizen is reported to be detained in North Korea, we work with the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang" to try to secure their freedom.

Kim Hak Song and Kim Sang Dok are two of at least four USA citizens being detained now in North Korea. US tourist Otto Warmbier is serving 15 years imprisonment with hard labor over the theft of a political propaganda poster in January 2016 and Kim Dong Chul, a Korean-American businessman, is serving 10 years on espionage charges.

Choi Sun Hee, the North America bureau chief of Pyongyang's foreign ministry, is expected to represent North Korea during the meeting with U.S. North Korea experts.

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The North has occasionally jailed United States citizens and released them only after visits by high-profile political figures including former president Bill Clinton.

In an interview with "CBS This Morning", Rice was asked what she thinks North Korea is trying to accomplish by detaining another USA citizen over the weekend.

North Korean officials began informal talks Monday with a group of American experts in Oslo, Norway, amid speculation that Washington may seek dialogue with Pyongyang, diplomatic sources said.

North Korea did not provide further details about the circumstances.

A foreign-funded university in North Korea confirmed Monday the arrest of a USA citizen - the second linked to the school held in two weeks amid tensions on the peninsula. But the vitriolic outrage over the alleged plan to assassinate Kim last month is also being doled out with an unusually big dollop of retaliation threats, raising a familiar question: What on Earth is going on in Pyongyang?

China is believed to have already informed North Korea of the USA proposals.

This isn't the first-time North Korea responded to the insults of an American senator. He was accused of stealing a propaganda poster, and North Korean officials even released a video that purported to show him stealing it. DPRK is short for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.

Japanese media earlier on Monday reported that Choe Son Hui, the director general of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's North America section, was travelling to Europe for unofficial talks with former United States government officials.

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