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American man arrested trying to swim to North Korea

A man arrested near Seoul said he was trying to swim to North Korea to meet Kim Jong Un.

By
Gabrielle Levy
A photo of North Korea's new leader Kim Jong Un, displayed on a picture board in front of the North Korean embassy in Beijing. UPI/Stephen Shaver
A photo of North Korea's new leader Kim Jong Un, displayed on a picture board in front of the North Korean embassy in Beijing. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

SEOUL, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- An American man arrested Tuesday night near Seoul, South Korea, was apparently trying to swim to North Korea.

The man, who was arrested by South Korean marines on the bank of the Han River, was found suffering from exhaustion.

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The man has not been identified but is believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s and of Arab descent. He told authorities he was headed for Pyongyang with the hopes of meeting North Korea's Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un, Yonhap News Agency reported, quoting a government source.

His capture prevented him from becoming the fourth American detained by North Korea. Earlier this month, California man Matthew Miller was sentenced to six years of hard labor, accused of carrying out hostile acts "under the guise of a tourist." Jeffrey Fowle, of Ohio, has been detained there since May, when he left a bible behind while on tour, and Kenneth Bae has been held since 2012 and is serving a 15-year sentence for "hostile acts."

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