North Korea claims detention of American tourist

North Korea claimed via state media on Friday that it has detained another American, identified as tourist Jeffrey Edward Fowle.
By JC Finley  |  June 6, 2014 at 8:39 AM
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PYONGYANG, North Korea, June 6 (UPI) -- An American tourist, identified as Jeffrey Edward Fowle, has been detained in North Korea for allegedly violating visa-related regulations.

Korea Central News Agency printed a brief account on Friday:

"American citizen Jeffrey Edward Fowle entered the DPRK as a tourist on April 29 and acted in violation of the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] DPRK law, contrary to the purpose of tourism during his stay. A relevant organ of the DPRK detained him and is investigating him."

Japan's Kyodo news cited unidentified diplomatic sources that described the circumstances of Fowle's detention. The American, they said, was in North Korea with a tourist group and was detained in mid-May after he reportedly left a Bible in a hotel where he had stayed.

The U.S. Department of State confirmed that it was "aware of reports that a third U.S. citizen was detained in North Korea," adding "there is no greater priority for us than the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad."

Americans Kenneth Bae, arrested in November 2012 for "hostile acts" and sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor, and Miller Matthew Todd, who state media claimed requested asylum in North Korea in April, remain in North Korean custody.

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