US Pleads With North Korea to Free American US citizen has been detained for several months By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Apr 13, 2011 1:19 AM CDT 0 comments Comments A North Korean soldier stands guard at the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) (Newser) – The US is urging North Korea to free an American citizen who was arrested and detained there several months ago, AP reports. "This individual has been detained. I don't have any details of what this individual was doing in North Korea," said a State Department spokesman. "We would ask that they respect and treat this citizen in a manner consistent with international human rights law." The spokesman refused to identify the detained American, citing privacy concerns. He said Swedish diplomats—who represent the US in Pyongyang because the US and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations—have been allowed to visit the individual. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton secured the release of other detained Americans in recent years, but officials haven't said whether similar efforts are planned in this case.