North Korea detains American Kim Sang Dok for 'attempting to subvert country'

North Korea said on Wednesday that an American man it had detained in late April was intercepted because he was attempting to commit "hostile acts".
North Korea has detained an American man identified as Kim Sang Dok on charges of attempting to subvert the country.
North Korea has detained an American man identified as Kim Sang Dok on charges of attempting to subvert the country.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS/AFP) - North Korea said on Wednesday (May 3) an American man it had detained in late April was being held for committing what it described as "hostile acts".

The state-run KCNA news agency said the American, identified as Mr Kim Sang Dok, or Tony Kim, was arrested at the Pyongyang airport for committing "hostile criminal acts with an aim to subvert the country".

Law enforcement authorities were conducting an investigation into the crime, KCNA said. Mr Kim appeared to be the same man KCNA said Pyongyang had detained on April 22.

Mr Kim was arrested at the capital's airport as he was about to leave after teaching at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) for several weeks, the school said.

The school - founded by evangelical Christians from overseas and opened in 2010 - is known to have a number of American faculty members. Students are generally the children of the country's elite.

Two other US citizens - college student Otto Warmbier and Korean-American pastor Kim Dong Chul - are currently being held in the North after being sentenced to long prison terms.

The pastor was sentenced in 2016 to 10 years of hard labour for spying. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in 2016 for stealing a propaganda material and for "crimes against the state".