Thursday, January 28, 2010

North Korea arrests a second US citizen

North Korea has arrested an American male for "trepassing", illegally entering the country across the border with China, according to its state media.

It was the second time in a month that North Korea has arrested a US citizen, after detaining Robert Park, a Christian missionary, in December. Mr. Park, 28, crossed the frozen Tumen River on Christmas Day to raise the issue of human rights.

Commentators believe that Robert Park is now being held as a bargaining chip with the US in future negotiations over the North's nuclear ambitions.

Jo Sung-rae of the Seoul-based group Pax Koreana said he and fellow activists sent about 150,000 leaflets by balloon across the border into North Korea on Wednesday as part of efforts to let North Koreans know about Park. Jo said the leaflets repeated Park's demand that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il step down and dismantle camps for political prisoners.

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