North Korea says it is holding an American tourist

North Korea says it is holding an American tourist

North Korea says it is holding an American tourist

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by Kim Hjelmgaard and Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 9:27 AM

(USA Today) -- North Korea detained a U.S. tourist, the third American held in the country, the nation's official Korean Central News Agency said Friday.

"American citizen Jeffrey Edward Fowle entered the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) as a tourist on April 29 and acted in violation of the DPRK law, KCNA reported. No other details were provided.

In April, North Korea said it had detained 24-year-old American Miller Matthew Todd for improper behavior while he was being processed to enter the country as a tourist. The brief report said he chose the North "as a shelter."

The agency said that a "relevant organ" of the DPRK had detained him and is investigating him, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reports.

Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae has been held since November 2012. Bae was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for what the North says were hostile acts against the state.

The U.S. State Department issued a fresh warning to U.S. citizens recently against all travel to North Korea, noting that even joining a tour was no protection from arbitrary arrest.

"Foreign visitors to North Korea may be arrested, detained, or expelled for activities that would not be considered criminal outside North Korea, including involvement in unsanctioned religious and/or political activities (whether those activities took place inside or outside North Korea), unauthorized travel, or unauthorized interaction with the local population," the State Department says.

It adds that North Korean security personnel "may regard as espionage unauthorized or unescorted travel inside North Korea and unauthorized attempts to speak directly to North Korean citizens."

Contributing: Associated Press

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