North Korea Detains American Tourist
State media says Miller Matthew Todd requested asylum
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 26, 2014 11:17 AM CDT
North Korean troops march during a military parade at Kim Il Sung Square to mark the 65th anniversary of the country's founding in Pyongyang, North Korea, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)

(Newser) – North Korea has detained a 24-year-old American man for improper behavior while he was being processed to enter the country as a tourist, state media reported today. The official Korean Central News Agency identified the man as Miller Matthew Todd—possibly putting his surname first—and said he entered the country on April 10 with a tourist visa, but tore it up and shouted that he wanted to seek asylum. The brief report said he chose the North "as a shelter."

It said he was detained for "gross violation" of North Korea's legal order and was being investigated. It gave no further details. In a statement issued yesterday, New Jersey-based Uri Tours, which identified the man as Matthew Miller, said it has "been working closely and continuously with all relevant government and diplomatic entities to resolve this matter in a speedy and favorable manner."