North Korea confirms latest detention of American citizen

Posted May 04, 2017

This combination of file photos shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, on April 15, 2017 waving during a military parade to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, on April 7, 2017 smiles during a meeting with Alaska Gov. Bill Walker in Anchorage, Alaska following his meetings with President Donald Trump in Florida.

Tony Kim, also known as Kim Sang Duk, was detained for hostile acts to North Korea.

In the North's first confirmation of the professor's detention, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said he had been held for "committing criminal acts of hostility aimed to overturn the DPRK", using an abbreviation for the country's official name.

"As Russia has close economic links with other countries at odds with the West, like Iran, Venezuela and Syria, this symbolic dimension of the Russia-North Korea relationship has strategic significance".

CHINA has called for all of its citizens to return from North Korea immediately as a USA citizen is detained for allegedly trying to overthrow the country's regime.

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The US and South Korea also held their largest ever joint military exercises in the past two months, while the USS Carl Vinson nuclear aircraft carrier task group has arrived in the waters off the peninsula for joint drills with the South Korean military.

"As Secretary Tillerson said on Friday, business as usual is not an option".

A commentary on KCNA on Wednesday took aim at China and state media articles it said had attempted to shift the blame to Pyongyang for "deteriorated relations" between China and North Korea and USA deployment of strategic assets. The top USA diplomat also called on the global community to fully implement existing United Nations sanctions against North Korea and sent a very strong message to the North Korean regime.

Kim is the third American North Korea has detained since 2015.

Previously, the USA itself prepared a plan of evacuation of its 230,000 citizens from the southern part of the Korean Peninsula.

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North Korea's nuclear program "can neither be changed nor shaken and the DPRK will never beg for the maintenance of friendship with China, risking its nuclear program which is as precious as its own life, no matter how valuable the friendship is".

North Korea's response was a metaphorical middle finger.

The city of 600,000 people, just about 100 km (60 miles) from the border with North Korea, is home to thousands of North Koreans who mainly work on construction or do home renovations.

Washington is now exploring options at the UN Security Council to ramp up pressure on the North, with diplomats saying it was in discussion with China on possible sanctions.

Tillerson said China has reaffirmed support for a "denuclearised" Korean peninsula but that Washington would test their commitment to help rein in their neighbour by "leaning into them hard".

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