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North Korea

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a country in East Asia, located in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering South Korea and China. Its capital, Pyongyang, is the country's largest city by both land area and population. It is a single-party state led by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP), and governed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un since 2012. It has a population of 24,052,231 (UN-assisted DPRK census 2008) made up of Koreans and a smaller Chinese minority. Japan 'opened' Korea in 1876 and annexed it in 1910. The Republic of Korea (ROK) was founded with US support in the south in August 1948 and the Soviet-backed Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north in September that year. 


American detained in North Korea

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 11:07am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

An American citizen has been detained by the communist authorities in North Korea, a country that has no diplomatic ties with the United States, a US official said on Tuesday.

“We’re obviously aware of these reports that a US citizen has been detained in North Korea. We obviously have no higher priority than the welfare of our citizens,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

But she refused to go into details citing privacy concerns, adding only that the embassy of Sweden usually acts on behalf of Washington to interact with Pyongyang on any issues involving Americans in the isolated state.

According to the South Korean newspaper Kookmin Ilbo, quoted by Yonhap news agency, a 44-year-old Korean-American tour operator was detained in early November as he entered the northeastern port of Rajin.

He arrived along with five other tourists for a five-day visit on November 3, but was detained when a computer hard disc was found among the group’s belongings, the paper said, quoting an unidentified source.

Several Americans have been held in North Korea in recent years. In 2010 former US president Jimmy Carter won plaudits when he negotiated the release of American national, Aijalon Mahli Gomes, sentenced to eight years hard labour in North Korea for illegally crossing into the North from China.

On another mercy mission a year earlier in 2009, former president Bill Clinton won the release of US television journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, jailed after wandering across the North Korean border with China.


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