North Korea detention of fourth USA citizen 'concerning' - White House

Pauline Gross
May 9, 2017

The accusations come with the US and North trading threats over the latter's nuclear and missile programs, and as Washington considers whether to re-designate Pyongyang as a state sponsor of terrorism. The State Department said it would work with the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang, which handles American diplomatic interests with North Korea, to obtain more details. Choe Son-hui, a senior diplomat from Pyongyang's foreign ministry, will reportedly represent the North, while it's not yet known who is representing the U.S.

The message was sent by North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-Nam, Pyongyang's state-run KCNA news agency said.

An official of the U.S. State Department said the detentions underscored "the risk associated with travel to North Korea". U.S. President Donald Trump has further spiked animosity by saying he isn't ruling out military action against the North, although Trump has also said he would be willing to talk with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un under the right circumstances. While Kim Jong-un continues to test his military might, the North Korean dictator is waging a war of words with Gardner.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un became the chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea at a rare party congress held in May previous year.

And Kim Dong Chul is serving 10 years of hard labor after being jailed on subversion charges.

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Gardner set off the latest back-and-forth in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" last week, when he remarked: "I think most people agree that Kim Jong Un is a whack job". Follow-up stories on the plot have focused on outraged North Koreans demanding revenge. Besides Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's comments in February that the USA would take a harder "new approach" to North Korea and its nuclear weapons program, Vice President Mike Pence supported the all-options-are-on-the-table stance in his Asian diplomatic tour in April, stating, "We will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response".

Bennett noted that such training has been included and expanded upon in annual wargames hosted by South Korea, which were bigger than ever this year.

She said PUST told her over the phone that Kim had boarded a train in Pyongyang.

In June that year, the North denounced the Seth Rogen comedy, which portrays the assassination of Kim Jong Un for the Central Intelligence Agency by two American journalists, as "a most wanton act of terror and act of war".

Other reports by GizPress

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