Seoul, South Korea reported that North Korea has detained a US citizen on suspicion of “hostile acts”against the regime, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Sunday.
The regime described Kim Hak-song as “a man who was doing business in relation to the operation of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.” KCNA said the American was detained on Saturday without any described alleged crime.
“A relevant institution is now conducting detailed investigation into his crimes,” it said regarding Kim Hak-song.
A State Department official told CNN that the United States is “aware of reports” that an American citizen was detained.
“When a US citizen is reported to be detained in North Korea, we work with the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, which serves as the United States’ Protecting Power in North Korea,” the official said. “Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.”
Kim Hak-song’s fellow David Kim revealed, “He was a very diligent, hardworking man determined to help people in North Korea,” David Kim said.
“Professor Kim was a man who would call North Korea as his own country. He went to Pyongyang to devote himself to the development of North Korea’s agricultural technology so that the North can be self-sufficient with food,” David Kim said.
“As he struggled to fund some of his projects, he would spend money out of his own pocket,” David Kim said.
Another classmate said David Lee said, “North Korea is persecuting their savior, a person who came to help them. This is wrong.”