US tourist held in North Korea "loves adventure", says attorney

Jeffrey Fowle is shown in this City of Moraine handout photo released on June 9, 2014. The US tourist being held in North Korea loves adventure and new cultures, his family's attorney said in a statement on Monday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Jeffrey Fowle is shown in this City of Moraine handout photo released on June 9, 2014. The US tourist being held in North Korea loves adventure and new cultures, his family's attorney said in a statement on Monday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US tourist being held in North Korea loves adventure and "new cultures," his family's attorney said in a statement on Monday.

North Korea said on Friday that the US citizen was detained for "hostile activities" after he reportedly left a bible at a hotel, bringing to three the number of Americans held by the reclusive regime including missionary Kenneth Bae.

The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a brief report that Jeffrey Edward Fowle was being questioned by authorities after violating visa regulations.

"Fifty-six-year-old Jeffrey Fowle, beloved husband of Tanya for 14 years, and father of three incredible children: Alex (12), Chris (10), and Stephanie (9), was traveling to North Korea on vacation as a part of a tour," attorney Timothy Tepe said in the release, carried on WHIO television.

"Jeffrey loves to travel and loves the adventure of experiencing different cultures and seeing new places." The Fowle family "would like to express their sincere appreciation to the Swedish Embassy for their continuing efforts on Jeff's behalf. The family would also like to thank those from around the world who have offered their support during this difficult time," the statement continued.