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N Korea detains three US citizens, Canadian pastor

24 April 2017

A US citizen has been detained by North Korean authorities after attempting to leave the country, the State Department confirmed on Sunday.

Kim, who also goes by his Korean name Kim Sang-duk and is in his fifties, was detained by North Korean officials at Pyongyang International Airport as he attempted to leave the country, Park said.

Kim taught accounting at the university for about a month and was detained by officials as he was trying to leave the country from Pyongyang's worldwide airport.

"In cases where USA citizens are reported to be detained in North Korea, we work with the Swedish Embassy, which serves as the United States' Protecting Power in North Korea". Park said he was informed that the detention had "nothing to do" with Kim's work at the university but did not know further details.

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"If Australia persists in following the US's moves to isolate and stifle North Korea. this will be a suicidal act", a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said after Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop called the nation a "serious threat". He was previously employed as a professor at Yanbian University in China. YUST, a university in neighboring China, has a sister university in Pyongyang.

A former Korean-American professor has been arrested in North Korea, raising to three the number of USA citizen now detained by Kim Jong Un's regime.

Amid all the strategizing - much of which envisions somehow continuing to "manage" the North Korea problem - it's easy to sideline a basic and profoundly important element of the Pyongyang regime, a quality we should take into account quite thoroughly, front and center, before considering any course that might leave the Kim regime in power.

"Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment", the State Department said. "I don't understand why he was suddenly arrested", the source was quoted as saying.

More news: North Korea 'detains American citizen'

The United Nations has said China is required under global law not to return defectors to North Korea, where they could face persecution, torture and possibly death.

The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology is the only privately funded university in North Korea.

Two other United States citizens - college student Otto Warmbier and Korean-American pastor Kim Dong-Chul - are now being held in the North after being sentenced to long prison terms.

Otto Warmbier, a 21-year-old college student from the University of Virginia, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor last year after he confessed to attempting to steal a political propaganda banner from the hotel he was staying at. Kim was accused of stealing military secrets and is serving a 10-year sentence.

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North Korea, which has been criticised for its human rights record, has in the past used detained Americans to extract high-profile visits from the United States.

N Korea detains three US citizens, Canadian pastor