US Citizen Held Prisoner in North Korea: Report
Activist says Kenneth Bae detained while leading tour into the country
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Dec 13, 2012 8:20 AM CST
North Koreans flip colored cards to form a giant North Korean flag during an Arirang mass games performance in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

(Newser) – North Korea has been holding a 44-year-old American citizen prisoner for about a month, a human rights activist in South Korea alleged today. Kenneth Bae was reportedly detained while leading a tour group into the People's Republic, something he'd done several times before without a problem, activist Do Hee-youn tells the New York Times, saying he'd learned of the incident through a mutual friend in China. Authorities allowed the five European tourists he was guiding to leave without incident.

One unnamed source told a South Korean newspaper that officials had caught Bae with a computer hard drive that they suspected contained sensitive information. Bae had an interest in helping the orphans often seen in North Korean markets, Do said, so "the most plausible scenario I can think of is that he took some pictures of the orphans, and the North Korean authorities considered that an act of anti-North Korean propaganda." The State Department says it's aware of the reports, but wouldn't comment further.

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Comments
Showing 3 of 19 comments
fradycat3455
Jan 24, 2013 2:46 PM CST
what would they say if we arrested there citizen visiting here in the USA
Ultraworld
Dec 13, 2012 7:28 PM CST
I feel bad for the guy. But who the hell would want to go to the most inhospitable country on earth? Would't South Korea be more fun?
JMullins
Dec 13, 2012 12:57 PM CST
Big deal. Do we have anybody from a foreign country in jail?