N. Korea Confirms American Being Held

Pyongyang 'plans to use missionary as bargaining chip'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2011 5:51 AM CDT
A policeman stands on the street in Pyongyang, North Korea.    (Getty Images)

(Newser) – North Korea has confirmed that it has been holding an American citizen in detention since last November, the AP reports, and is preparing to bring charges against him. Pyongyang names the man as Jun Young Su, and says he was arrested for committing a crime against the country and he "admitted his crime in the course of investigation." The US has urged Pyongyang to release the man, whom sources say is a California-based missionary in his 60s.

The man had been frequently traveling to North Korea disguised as a trader to carry out missionary work and was arrested immediately after the North's attack on a South Korean island last year, a source in Seoul tells AFP. "It looks like the North had been watching the missionary for quite some time and arrested him for a political bargaining chip," the source says.

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