North Korea detains American citizen for 'rash behaviour': KCNA

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea has detained a United States citizen for "rash behaviour" while passing through immigration, the official KCNA news agency said on Friday as US President Barack Obama started a two-day visit to South Korea.

In a brief despatch, KCNA said the American, identified as Mr Miller Matthew Todd, 24, had been taken into custody April 10 for "his rash behaviour in the course of going through formalities for entry" into North Korea. KCNA said he remained in detention and was under investigation.

The two-week delay in announcing the incident suggested it was timed to coincide with Mr Obama's visit.

According to KCNA, Mr Miller had a tourist visa, but tore it to pieces and shouted that "he would seek asylum" and had come to North Korea "after choosing it as a shelter".

North Korea is currently holding US citizen Kenneth Bae, described by a North Korean court as a militant Christian evangelist.

Bae was arrested in Nov 2012 and sentenced to 15 years' hard labour on charges of seeking to topple the government.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.