North Korea confirms arrest of US citizen for illegal entry

December 29th, 2009 - 2:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, Dec 29 (DPA) North Korea said Tuesday it had detained a US citizen who illegally crossed the border from China, confirming earlier reports that the activist entered the Stalinist state.
Activists have said that Robert Park, 28, crossed into North Korea Friday, carrying a letter for leader Kim Jong Il asking him to liberate concentration camps and raise awareness of Pyongyang’s human rights abuses.

“An American citizen illegally entered the country across the North Korea-China border and has been detained,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, without confirming the man’s name. He was being questioned by a “related authority”, KCNA added.

According to earlier media reports, Park, who leads a coalition of advocacy groups for North Korean defectors, said he would deliver a message to Kim Jong Il to step down, and that he wanted to be arrested to pressure the US, South Korean and Japanese governments to pay attention to the plight of North Korean people.

In March, North Korean border guards seized two Asian-American journalists from San Francisco-based Current TV near the Tumen River.

Pyongyang prosecuted Laura Ling and Euna Lee on charges of committing “hostile acts” against the regime. In a widely publicised visit, former US president Bill Clinton travelled to Pyongyang in August to secure the journalists’ release.

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