Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

College confirms North Korea detains another USA citizen

North Korea said on Sunday it has detained another US citizen on suspicion of "hostile acts" against the state, which would make him the fourth American to be held by the isolated country amid heightened diplomatic tensions with Washington. The new detainee, Kim Hak Song, has described himself as a Christian missionary who wanted to help the Korean people become more self-sufficient by helping them develop advanced agricultural techniques.

Tony Kim - or Kim Sang Dok - also a PUST staffer, was arrested on April 22 at an airport in Pyongyang on charges of "hostile acts" toward the regime.

The detainee was identified as Kim Hak-song, who was a US professor working at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

Two weeks ago the North arrested Tony Kim, a USA citizen and accounting professor who was lecturing at PUST, accusing him of trying to "overturn" the regime.

After majoring in agriculture at a university in Yanbian, China, the professor chose to go to Pyongyang in 2015.

A university privately funded by Christian groups from in the West is at the center of growing tensions between the US and North Korea following the detention of second American citizen who works there.

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The regime described Kim Hak-song as "a man who was doing business in relation to the operation of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology".

In a vague text message to journalists Tuesday, South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the report from the Japan Times was "known to either be a matter that the USA could not confirm, or not true".

"PUST is certainly going to be in the crosshairs for - let's say special attention - by the North Korean authorities because of that book", says Madden.

Kim's detention comes as tensions between the two countries increase over North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.

"Last year they had a big harvest", she said.

The United States is one of main parties involved in the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, he said, adding China continues to encourage the the country to play a constructive role in peacefully settling the issue.

"Beijing publicly taking foot off gas on pressuring North Korea".

North Korea does not hide its willingness to return to the negotiating table with the United States.

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