An American was detained Tuesday after crossing from South into North Korea, United Nations Command said.
The body that oversees security in the so-called Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas said in a tweet that the U.S. national was on an “orientation tour” of the area and “crossed without authorization.”
It said the American was in North Korean custody and it was working to “resolve the incident.”
No further details were provided. The U.S. State Department did not immediately reply to a comment request.
Previous Americans who have been detained in North Korea have not been treated well. College student Otto Warmbier, for example, was released in a vegetative state in 2017 after spending 17 months in captivity. He died a short while later. His parents said he had been tortured and suffered brain damaged.
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The border between South and North Korea is one of the most heavily fortified in the world. It runs for about 150 miles and divides the Korean Peninsula roughly in half along the “38th parallel” − the cease-fire line of demarcation between the two nations that has existed since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
Hundreds of North Koreans defect to the South each year, where they seek an escape from political oppression and better economic opportunities. Cases of Americans and South Koreans going the other way are rare.