North Korea Detains an American

by Matthew Shaffer

Neither the name of the detainee, nor the circumstances of his or her residence in North Korea have been released by the State Department, so this possibly significant detention is still mysterious. Via CNN

An American man has been detained in North Korea, two State Department officials told CNN.

The State Department is working with the Swedish Embassy in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, the officials said. The United States is urging North Korean authorities, through the Swedes, to release the man on humanitarian grounds.

Sweden represents America’s interests in North Korea because the United States and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations.

The Swedes have been granted consular access to the man and have visited him, the officials said. The Swedes are asking for regular visits, the officials said.


North Korea has detained several Americans in recent years, increasing tension levels in what is already a rocky relationship between Pyongyang and Washington.

In 2010, former President Jimmy Carter helped secure the release of Aijalon Mahli Gomes, a U.S. citizen who had been fined roughly $600,000 and sentenced to eight years of hard labor for crossing over the Chinese border into North Korea.

Gomes was believed to be a Christian activist.

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