North Korea Detains Another American Citizen

D-Bo , April 25, 2014, 11:18 a.m.


The North Korean government has announced that they have detained another American. The KCNA, Korea Central News Agency, is reporting that 24 year old American Matthew Todd was detained earlier this April on charges of "a gross violation of its legal order."

According to the publication, Todd entered North Korea on April 10th on a tourist visa.  Upon arrival it is reported that the American got roudy and unruly during the immigration process.  Todd reportedly ripped up his immigration documents and shouted that he wanted to seek asylum in the North.

While there have been occasional cases of individuals seeking asylum in the North in the past, he said, they have been very rare.  It is unclear whether the US was aware of the case before the KCNA announcement.  

It is highly unusual for the North to detain visitors on valid tourist visas, but another American tourist, 85-year-old Korean war veteran Merrill Newman, was arrested in October and held for over a month. He was released and deported after reading a videotaped apology for killing North Korean soldiers and citizens when he served in the army. He said he had been warned he could face 15 years in jail for spying if he did not cooperate by recording the statement.

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