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N. Korea Has Detained a US Citizen

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SEOUL, South Korea - An American citizen has been detained for seven weeks in North Korea for "hostile crimes against the republic."

North Korea's Central News Agency reported Friday Pae Jun Ho entered the country's city of Rason for tour purposes on Nov. 3, and has confessed to crimes "proven through evidence," but didn't elaborate.

Officials from the Swedish Embassy met Ho on Thursday, but no details have been released from that meeting.

South Korean media last week reported Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American who runs a tour company in China specializing in investment tours to North Korea, was detained after he escorted five Europeans to the free-trade zone of Rajin near the Russian border.

The tourists were able to leave but Bae was detained after North Korean officials confiscated his computer hard disk that contains sensitive information, according to Kookmin Ilbo, a South Korean daily newspaper.

"We're obviously aware of these reports that a U.S. citizen has been detained in North Korea," Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for U.S. Department of State, said at a press briefing on Dec 11.

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