North Korea detains U.S. tourist ahead of Obama's South Korea visitUpdated: 2014-04-26 18:30:55 KST
North Korea said Friday it has detained an American tourist for "rash behavior" while passing through immigration.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency said 24-year-old Matthew Todd Miller was placed in custody on April 10th, after he tore up his visa upon entry and asking for asylum.
The North said Miller has been put in custody and that authorities are investigating the case.
The announcement came amid U.S. President Barack Obama's two-day visit to South Korea.
Following talks with President Park Geun-hye Friday, Obama said the United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder with South Korea against North Korean provocations.
The U.S. State Department said it was in touch with the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang on Miller's detainment.
"We have been in touch with the Embassy in Sweden. As you know, Sweden is our protecting power in North Korea."
North Korea is also currently holding another U.S. citizen, Kenneth Bae.
He was arrested in November 2012 and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor on charges of seeking to topple the North Korean regime.
U.S. efforts to release Bae have so far been unsuccessful, and Washington once again called on Pyongyang to free the American prisoner.
"We continue to urge North Korean authorities to grant Mr. Bae a special amnesty and immediate release him on humanitarian grounds."
Experts say North Korea likely waited for President Obama's South Korea visit to announce the detainment of another American citizen.
The isolated state is believed to be using the two U.S. detainees as a bargaining chip for dialogue.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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Another waste of time.... Just nuke the North, get it done so no more excuses from the West!!