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North Korea detains another Christian missionary as tensions increase

20 Mai 2017

- Kim Hak Song was detained Saturday to be investigated for committing unspecified hostile acts, North Korea has said.

In the case of Kim Hak Song, authorities said, "A relevant institution is now conducting detailed investigation into his crimes".

A source with knowledge of the latest talks said the venue was the Norwegian capital, Oslo, and the US delegation was led by Suzanne DiMaggio, a director and senior fellow at the New America think tank.

Kim Hak-song had previously described himself as a Christian missionary who meant to start an experimental farm at PUST, Reuters news agency reported, citing an online post by Mr Kim. He was visiting the country on one of a handful of a guided tours organized by private companies where foreign tourists are chaperoned by North Korean minders and shown the country's good side.

An official of the US State Department said the detentions underscored 'the risk associated with travel to North Korea'.

"When a USA citizen is reported to be detained in North Korea, we work with the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, which serves as the United States' Protecting Power in North Korea", an official with the State Department said. "The security of USA citizens is one of the department's highest priorities".

Read the whole story from AFP.

Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican representing Colorado, has gotten the government of North Korea all riled up.

In an interview with "CBS This Morning", Rice was asked what she thinks North Korea is trying to accomplish by detaining another US citizen over the weekend.

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- Won Moon Joo, a South Korean studying at New York University, was freed in October 2015 after being detained for six months for illegal entry.

Kim Sang Dok, another U.S. citizen teaching at the same Christian university, was detained in April according to state media.

- American tourist Otto Warmbier was sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years in prison with hard labor for subversion.

Last week, President Donald Trump called Kim a "pretty smart cookie" and said he'd be honored to meet with him.

During an interview with National Public Radio earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington would "obviously" like to solve the issue through direct talks, but that North Korea had to decide whether they were "ready to talk to us about the right agenda".

The volunteer faculty of PUST, many of whom are evangelical Christians, has a curriculum that includes subjects once considered taboo in North Korea, such as capitalism.

The first signs of trouble came on April 22, when the North Koreans suddenly detained Tony Kim, a fellow Korean-American academic teaching at the same university in Pyongyang.

Such a provocation could include a test of an ICBM or a nuclear weapon.

Rice also said on CBS' "This Morning" that Kim is "reckless and maybe even a little unhinged".

North Korea detains another Christian missionary as tensions increase