North Korea says it has detained a US citizen
PYONGYANG (AP) - North Korea said on Friday that an American citizen has been detained after confessing to unspecified crimes, confirming news reports about his arrest at a time when Pyongyang is facing criticism from Washington for launching a long-range rocket last week.
The American was identified as Mr Pae Jun Ho in a brief dispatch issued by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang. News reports in the US and South Korea said Mr Pae is known in his home state of Washington as Mr Kenneth Bae, a 44-year-old tour operator of Korean descent.
An expert said he is likely to become a bargaining chip for the North, an attempt to draw the United States into talks. Five other Americans known to have been detained in North Korea since 2009 were all eventually released.
North Korean state media said Mr Pae arrived in the far north-eastern city of Rajin on Nov 3 as part of a tour.