Asian-American Professor Arrested in North Korea for ‘Hostile Acts’

Another American man is currently being detained by the North Korean government for allegedly committing “hostile acts,” state-run media reports.

According to KCNA news agency (via Reuters), Pyongyang authorities arrested Asian American Kim Sang-Duk on April 22 at Pyongyang’s airport as he was leaving the country with his wife. Kim is accused of committing “hostile criminal acts with an aim to subvert the country”.

At the time of his arrest, the 58-year-old man, who is also known as Tony Kim, was reportedly an accounting professor at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

“Invited to Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) to teach accounting as a professor, he was intercepted for committing criminal acts of hostility aimed to overturn the DPRK not only in the past but also during his last stay before interception,” reports KCNA news agency on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology issued a statement, saying: “We understand that this detention is related to an investigation into matters that are not connected in any way with the work of PUST.”

Incidentally, the situation remains tense in the Korean peninsula as the U.S. and North Korea have been trading threats toward each other in recent weeks.

In an interview on Monday, however, United States President Donald Trump said he would be “honored” to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “under the right conditions” and even called Kim a “smart cookie”.

Still, observers believe that an arrest of an American may even heighten the tension between two countries, the Independent points out.

Kim would be the third American known to have been detained in North Korea. Last year, 21-year-old University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier was arrested and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in prison after trying to steal a propaganda banner. A U.S. citizen named Kim Dong Chul is also serving a sentence of 10 years in North Korea for espionage.

Meanwhile, KCNA noted that further investigation into Tony Kim’s case is currently ongoing.

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