US citizen held in North Korea
Officials in North Korea have detained a US citizen who they said had confessed to unspecified crimes.
State media said in a short dispatch that someone named Bae Jun Ho entered North Korea on November 3rd as a tourist but was detained because of crimes.
The North said the crimes were “proven through evidence”, but did not elaborate.
South Korean activists have told local media in Seoul that Bae is a Korean-American and was detained after entering North Korea to guide tourists. Mr Bae operates a tourism company that specialises in North Korea, the reports said.
The North Korean dispatch said officials from the Swiss embassy met Mr Bae today, but there were no other details about the meeting. The US does not have diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, so US citizens are given aid by the Swiss.
Mr Bae is undergoing “legal treatment” according to North Korea’s criminal law, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said.
Pyongyang has detained and eventually released several Americans in recent years.
Two journalists had also been detained after crossing into the North from China while on a reporting trip, but were later released.