US tourist detained in N. Korea: report

Kyodo News

Posted at Apr 26 2014 11:05 AM | Updated as of Apr 26 2014 07:05 PM

SEOUL - North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency reported Friday that a 24-year-old U.S. man who had entered the country for tourism was detained earlier this month for committing a "gross violation."

The KCNA report identified the man "Miller Matthew Todd," and said he was detained on April 10 "for his rash behavior in the course of going through formalities for entry into the DPRK to tour it." DPRK is the acronym of North Korea's official name, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The report by Pyongyang's official news agency came after U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in South Korea earlier in the day.

The report said that despite having a tourist visa to enter the country, he "tore it to pieces and shouted hoarse that 'he would seek asylum' and 'he came to the DPRK after choosing it as a shelter.'"

"This was a gross violation of its legal order," it said.

The relevant authorities have taken the man into custody and are now investigating the case, it added.

Currently, one other U.S. citizen is known to be held in the North. In November 2012, North Korea detained Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary, while he was leading a tour group in the country. He was later sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for what Pyongyang says was an attempt to topple its regime.