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08 May 2017, 04:17 | Sue Hudson
North Korean state media reports the country has detained a US citizen - the fourth USA citizen being held there amid rising tensions between the two countries.
North Korea has arrested another US citizen for alleged anti-state crimes.
North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said Sunday that Kim Hak Song had worked for the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology before he was held on Saturday.
As tensions between North Korea and the U.S.
South Korea's unification ministry said Monday that it is verifying information about North Korea's latest detainment of another US citizen. The allegation followed a near unanimous vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday to toughen sanctions on North Korea and other countries that help its nuclear and missile programs, including China. As NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from Seoul, the first, named Kim Sang Duk, "was arrested late last month while trying to leave North Korea, and accused of trying to overthrow the government in Pyongyang".
The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) was founded by evangelical Christians and opened in 2010.
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The State Department advises Americans against traveling to North Korea, warning of "the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea's system of law enforcement".
"He was intercepted for committing criminal acts of hostility aimed to overturn the DPRK not only in the past but also during his last stay before interception", KCNA said in confirming reports of Tony Kim's arrest.
It's a "fair assumption" that North Korea could be detaining USA citizens as a diplomatic bargaining chip, Joseph DeTrani, who served as the State Department's special envoy for negotiations with North Korea, told NPR last week.
And Kim Dong Chul, the president of a company involved in worldwide trade and hotel services, was arrested in 2015 and is serving 10 years on espionage charges.
Other prisoners include Otto Frederick Warmbier, a former business student at the University of Virginia, and Kim Dong-chul, a businessman. North Korea leader Kim Jong Un has expressed outrage at massive joint military exercises conducted by the USA and South Korea and an anti-missile battery the U.S.is installing in the region.
North Korea's Foreign Ministry called the agencies "hotbed of evils in the world" and said in a statement that they had "hatched a vicious plot to hurt the supreme leadership".
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