Korean American Detained In North Korea

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 A Korean American man has been held in custody in North Korea for more than a month, according to U.S. officials.

Kenneth Bae, an American citizen, was detained by North Korea in early November after entering the country’s northeastern port of Rajin, according to CNN. The 44-year-old tour operator was reportedly carrying a computer hard drive that contained “sensitive information,” South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said U.S. officials were aware of Bae’s detainment in North Korea.

“We obviously have no higher priority than the welfare of our citizens,” Nuland said.


Bae, who visited North Korea several times in the past, has been involved with a Protestant religious movement, a U.S. official said.

North Korea detained American citizens on several occasions in the past. In 2010, Aijalon Mahli Gomes was initially sentenced to eight years of hard labor after illegally crossing the border from China to North Korea. Gomes was released after former president Jimmy Carter’s negotiation with the North Korean government. In 2009, American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were arrested while wandering across the North Korean border with China, which prompted former president Bill Clinton to win the release.