North Korea has detained another US citizen, bringing to 3 the number of Americans held in the country amid increasing tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
The Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang Sunday confirmed the detainment of the US citizen but did not elaborate on the matter.
However, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, citing unnamed sources, reported on the same day that a Korean-American man was arrested Friday at Pyongyang’s international airport.
According to the agency, the man in his fifties identified only by his surname Kim was trying to leave the country when North Korean police arrested him.
Kim has been involved in aid and relief programs to North Korea and formerly worked as professor at the Yanbian University of Science and Technology in China which has a sister university in Pyongyang.
The report, however, was not confirmed by South Korea’s Unification Ministry or its intelligence agency.
North Korea has at least two other Americans in its prisons.
Last year in January, Otto Warmbier (pictured below), who was 21 at the time of his arrest, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in prison after he confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner.
Also in March 2016, Korean-American Kim Dong Chul (pictured below), 62, was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison for espionage.
North Korea arrested US missionary Kenneth Bae (pictured below) in 2012 and sentenced him to 15 years for crimes against the state, but then released him 2 years later.
The new arrest came as tensions have increased between North Korea and the US in recent weeks. The US has been unnerved by North Korea’s advancing missile and nuclear programs and has dispatched a military strike group to the Korean peninsula. Pyongyang has said it was ready for war.