North Korea detains fourth United States citizen

North Korea said on Sunday it has detained another American citizen for suspicion of acts against the state, which if confirmed would make him the fourth US citizen to be held by the isolated country amid diplomatic tensions.

In Washington, the State Department said it was aware of the report of the new detention and that "the security of US citizens is one of the department's highest priorities".

- In 2011, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter visited North Korea to win the release of American Aijalon Gomes, who had been sentenced to eight years of hard labor for crossing illegally into North Korea from China.

All religion is banned in North Korea, a totalitarian state that requires all its citizens to worship the three generations of the Kim family that have run the country through a weird personality cult since the end of World War II. "North Korean media haven't said whether the two men knew each other".

North Korea confirmed Wednesday that it had detained Tony Kim, who was seized April 22 as he tried to leave the country.

Both men worked for the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, but it's not clear if there's a connection between the arrests. Pyongyang detained the former for stealing a political poster.

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The other is Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who was detained for allegedly trying to steal a propaganda sign from a Pyongyang hotel on New Year's Day last year while on a group tour.

"North Korea is persecuting their savior, a person who came to help them".

A State Department official told CNN the United States is "aware of reports" that an American citizen was detained.

When an American citizen is reported detained, the US works with the Swedish Embassy in the North Korean capital, since the USA and the North do not have diplomatic relations. I mean, that's the primary core issue that has to be addressed by the North Koreans."That does not mean, however, that the detainees will not be part of that dialogue because I - from my experience, I would say one of the first requirements we would have is to show goodwill".

North Korea's announcement of the detainments comes amid tensions over fears that Pyongyang is preparing another round of nuclear or missile tests and comments.

Pyongyang is still investigating Kim's crimes, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

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