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N. Korea: Detained American to be indicted

PYONGYANG, North Korea, April 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. national held in North Korea since November will be indicted, Pyongyang said Thursday, without specifying what the charges will be.

The isolated Communist country's official Korean Central News Agency reported Jun Young-su was arrested in November of last year "and has since been investigated by a relevant organ for committing a crime against (North Korea) after entering it."

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Xinhua, the official news agency of China, which is North Korea's closest ally, quoted KCNA as saying the United States was informed of the latest developments and necessary humanitarian conveniences including consular contact were being provided to him through the Swedish Embassy, which looks after U.S. interests there.

A U.S. State Department spokesman was quoted this week as confirming the detention of an individual but gave no other details without the consent of the person's family.

Xinhua said several U.S. nationals have been detained in North Korea in the past after being accused of illegally entering the country. Former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have gone to North Korea in the past two years to secure the release of three of them, including two women journalists.

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South Korea's Yonhap news agency said Jun Young-su is a Korean-American and quoted sources in Washington as saying a detainee, identified as a California businessman in his 60s, has been accused of getting involved in unauthorized religious activities in North Korea.

"I understand many churches in the Korean community in the U.S. have been engaging in missionary work in North Korea," a source told Yonhap. "In the process, such a mishap might have happened."

Carter is scheduled to make a private visit to Pyongyang along with a group of diplomats this month for nuclear weapons talks, and the BBC reported he may raise the American's detention at that time.

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