Not that I wish to disparage those with a religious motivation, since a lot of the people doing the heavy lifting and dirty work to move North Korean refugees along the underground railroad from China to a third country (or into consulates and embassies within China) are Christian clergy and laypeople.
From Reuters, via Huffington Post:
North Korea may have detained an elderly U.S. man last month who entered the country on a tourist visa, Kyodo News Service said on Wednesday, citing an unnamed diplomatic source.Detaining American citizens seems to be a cottage industry in the DPRK.
Kyodo, in a report from Beijing, said the possible detention could become another diplomatic bargaining chip for North Korea, which has held Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American Christian missionary, since November 2012. Bae has been sentenced by the Pyongyang regime to 15 years of hard labour.
The U.S. State Department echoed U.S. embassy officials in Beijing and Seoul who said they were aware of the reports but could not confirm them.
North Korea claims the man, who apparently is not of Korean descent, has broken the law, according to Kyodo. The man entered North Korea for sightseeing last month with a valid visa, Kyodo quoted the diplomatic source as saying.
North Korea has acknowledged detaining a Korean War veteran named Mr Merrill Newman, and there is speculation that they may have mistaken him for a Silver Star recipient of the same name.
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