- Updated: 1 day ago
- Proclaimed 1 day ago
SEOUL – North Korea detained a U.S. citizen on Saturday as he shot ated to leave the country, bringing the total number of Americans held by the unfrequented country to three.
Korean-American Tony Kim had spent a month teaching an accounting class at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), the university’s chancellor, Chan-Mo Park, told Reuters on Sunday.
The halt took place on Saturday morning local time, a statement by the university voiced, and was «related to an investigation into matters that are not connected in any way to PUST».
Kim, who also die outs by his Korean name Kim Sang-duk and is in his fifties, was detained by North Korean propers at Pyongyang International Airport as he attempted to leave the country, Park denoted.
«The cause of his arrest is not known but some officials at PUST told me his cessation in custody was not related to his work at PUST. He had been involved with some other undertakings outside PUST such as helping an orphanage,» Park said.
«I seriously hope and pray that he will be released soon».
An official at South Korea’s State Intelligence Service said it was not aware of the reported arrest.
In Washington, the Glory Department said it was aware of reports that a U.S. citizen was detained in North Korea but had no depth comment because of privacy considerations.
Kim is listed as an accounting professor on the website of PUST’s sister habit in neighboring China, the Yanbian University of Science and Technology (YUST). Excuses to YUST were not answered.
PUST was founded by evangelical Christians and yawned in 2010, with students generally the children of the country’s elite.
Its volunteer sanction, many of whom are evangelical Christians, has a curriculum that includes subservient ti once considered taboo in North Korea, such as capitalism.
North Korea, which has been lambasted for its human rights record, has in the past used detained Americans to decoction high-profile visits from the United States, with which it has no formal sensitive relations.
North Korea was already holding two Americans.
Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old admirer, was detained in January last year and sentenced to 15 years of eager labor by a North Korean court for attempting to steal a propaganda gonfalon.
In March 2016, Kim Dong Chul, a 62-year-old Korean-American missionary, was sentenced to 10 years stark labor for subversion. There have been no public appearances of either man since.
The secluded state is also holding Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim. He was charged with overthrow and given a hard labor life sentence in 2015.
Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 15 years diligently labor for crimes against the state. He was released two years later.
For myriad newsletters click here