Officials in North Korea have detained an American citizen this weekend. The communist kingdom now has three Americans behind bars. Reuters reported:

Korean-American Tony Kim had spent a month teaching an accounting course at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), the university’s chancellor, Chan-Mo Park, told Reuters on Sunday.

Kim, who also goes by his Korean name Kim Sang-duk and is in his fifties, was detained by North Korean officials at Pyongyang International Airport as he attempted to leave the country, Park said.

“The cause of his arrest is not known but some officials at PUST told me his arrest was not related to his work at PUST. He had been involved with some other activities outside PUST such as helping an orphanage,” Park said.

“I sincerely hope and pray that he will be released soon”.

Martina Aberg, the deputy chief of mission at the Swedish Embassy in North Korea, confirmed the news. She told CNN that authorities stopped Kim “from getting on the flight out of Pyonyang.” She could not “comment further than this.”

The State Department told the media that officials “are aware of reports that a US citizen was detained in North Korea.” Officials promised to work on the case with the Swedish Embassy. America works with this embassy since we do not have one in the country.

Other Two American Citizens

North Korea sentenced Otto Warmbier, 22, to 15 years of hard labor last January. Authorities arrested him on January 2, 2016, before he boarded his plan and charged him with “committing a hostile act against the state” when he tried to steal a propaganda sign.

In March 2016, after a one hour trial, the court sentenced Warmbier to 15 years of hard labor.

A month later, North Korea sentenced Kim Dong Chul, 63, who was born in South Korea and a naturalized American citizen, to 10 years of hard labor for alleging spying and trying to steal state secrets.

The country arrested Chul in October 2015, but the U.S. did not know about him until North Korean authorities showed him off to a CNN crew in Pyongyang.


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