World

N Korea holds US man for 'hostile acts'

SEOUL: North Korea said yesterday that an American man it had detained late last month - the third US citizen being held by the isolated country - was nabbed because he was attempting to commit "hostile acts".

The state-run KCNA news agency said the American, who is in his 50s and was identified last month as Mr Kim Sang Dok, was arrested on April 22 at the Pyongyang airport for committing "hostile criminal acts with an aim to subvert the country".

The information comes as tensions on the Korean peninsula run high, driven by concerns that North Korea may conduct its sixth nuclear test.

The US is negotiating with China about a stronger United Nations Security Council response, but Washington has reiterated that all options for dealing with North Korea remain on the table.

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 US, with which it has no formal diplomatic relations.

KCNA said yesterday that Mr Kim had taught an accounting course in Pyongyang.

"... he was intercepted for committing criminal acts of hostility aimed to overturn (North Korea) not only in the past but also during his last stay before interception," KCNA said.

It added that law enforcement officials are investigating Mr Kim's alleged crime. - REUTERS

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