TOKYO — North Korea said Friday that it has detained an American tourist for unspecified violations, marking the latest in a string of legal problems and arrests for those visiting the authoritarian nation.In a two-sentence statement, the North’s state-run news agency said that a U.S. citizen it identified as Jeffrey Edward Fowle had entered the country on April 29 and acted “contrary to the purpose of tourism.”
“A relevant organ of the DPRK detained him and is investigating him,” the North said, using the initials of the country’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
North Korea did not elaborate on Fowle’s alleged violations, but his detention raises further concerns about those traveling to the North, even as a part of sanctioned tour groups. In a travel warning updated last month, the U.S. State Department strongly advised against visiting the North and warned about arbitrary arrests, long-term detention and punishment or expulsion for “activities that would not be considered criminal outside North Korea.”
“Do not assume that joining a group tour or use of a tour guide will prevent your arrest or detention by North Korean authorities,” the State Department said.
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Another American detained in DPRK for very weird reasons. This time we are not even being told the exact reason. I expect this just to be more attention seeking from the DPRK government. Hopefully this US citizen can be undetained and returned home ASAP.