Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Music show: Mykki Blanco, Van Morrison & The Weeknd’s duo with Daft Punk

Read more

FOCUS

FRANCE 24 exclusive: The last stand for Libya’s Oil Crescent

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Greece’s minister of tourism: ‘Tourism is a government priority’

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Terrorism, strike actions and migrant crisis: Is the EU becoming less attractive to tourists?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Moody's cuts Turkey's credit rating to junk

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

‘Grozny 1999 – Aleppo 2016’

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Trump and Clinton: 'It's all to play for'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Turkish foreign minister says troops to move further into Syria

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Court ruling expected on Gabon's contested election results

Read more

Asia-pacific

North Korea confirms arrest of US citizen

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-04-14

North Korea has confirmed the arrest of US citizen Jun Young Su for an unspecified crime against the state. Earlier reports from neighbouring South Korea suggested the man may have been detained for alleged Christian proselytizing.

AP - North Korea confirmed Thursday that it has arrested an American man for committing an unspecified crime against the country and is preparing to indict him.

The man, named Jun Young Su, has been held since November last year, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said. He is the latest U.S. citizen to be detained in the reclusive communist state in recent years.
 
North Korea informed Washington about the situation and Jun is being given necessary humanitarian conveniences including consular contact with Swedish Embassy officials in Pyongyang, the news agency said.
 
Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department called for North Korea to release one of its citizens and said Swedish officials had visited the American. But it gave no further details. The U.S. _ which fought on South Korea’s side during the 1950-53 Korean War _ doesn’t have diplomatic staff inside North Korea and Sweden handles Washington’s interests there.
 
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Thursday that a Korean-American with business interests in North Korea was being detained for alleged Christian proselytizing. Yonhap, citing the Korean Christian community in the United States, said the man is in his 60s, attends a Korean church in Orange County, California, and has a North Korean visa.
 
Several Americans have been detained in North Korea in recent years and freeing them often requires high-profile negotiations.
 
In August, former President Jimmy Carter brought home Aijalon Gomes, who had been sentenced to eight years’ hard labor for crossing into the North from China. He was detained for seven months in all.
 
Korean-American missionary Robert Park defiantly walked into North Korea on Christmas Day in 2009 to draw attention to the North’s alleged human rights abuses and to call for the resignation of leader Kim Jong Il. He was released weeks later without charge.
 
Also in 2009, journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were arrested for trespassing in North Korea and released only after former President Bill Clinton made a trip to Pyongyang to ask for their freedom.
 
The latest arrest came as Carter plans to travel to Pyongyang again as early as this month.
 
Carter said last week that he plans to focus on trying to revive international disarmament talks on the North’s nuclear program and seek ways to help with the country’s humanitarian woes.
 
The North appears to want to use the latest detention to improve ties with the United States, said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the Seoul-based University of North Korean Studies. Still, given that the country usually releases detainees after indicting and sentencing them, there may not be sufficient time for Carter to bring Jun home during the upcoming visit, Yang said.

 

Date created : 2011-04-14

COMMENT(S)