North Korea has detained a U.S. citizen on suspicion of “hostile acts” aimed at overthrowing the regime, just weeks after another American was arrested on similar charges, state-run media reported on Sunday.
Kim Hak-Song, who is also known as Jin Xuesong in Chinese, was arrested in Pyongyang on Saturday as he was about to leave North Korea after a visit of several weeks, during which he carried out agricultural development work at the experimental farm of Pyongyang University of Science & Technology (PUST).
A brief article from the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim Hak-Song was suspected of “hostile acts” against North Korea, but specific details were not immediately released. ” A relevant institution is now conducting detailed investigation into his crimes,” KCNA said.
Pyongyang University of Science & Technology, which is largely funded by the West, declined to comment but said Kim Hak-Song’s alleged actions are not related to his work at the university. “Life on campus and the teaching at PUST is continuing as normal for the Spring semester,” the university said.
The arrest comes just weeks after U.S. citizen Sang Duk “Tony” Kim was arrested at Pyongyang International Airport for alleged hostile acts. Kim had spent several weeks in North Korea to teach accounting at the Pyongyang University of Science & Technology.
It was not immediately clear whether North Korea was deliberately targeting the elite university, but the arrests follow weeks of escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, fueled by North Korea’s missile tests and its advancing nuclear weapons program, as well as U.S. military exercises and statements by U.S. President Donald Trump.
North Korea is now holding a total of four Americans. U.S. tourist Otto Warmbier is serving 15 years imprisonment with hard labor over the theft of a political propaganda poster in January 2016 and Kim Dong Chul, a Korean-American businessman, is serving 10 years on espionage charges.
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