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American Tourist Detained in North Korea, Possibly for Leaving Bible in Hotel

American Tourist Detained in North Korea, Possibly for Leaving Bible in Hotel

North Korean authorities have detained an American tourist, but haven’t yet said why he’s been detained, according to reports from North Korea on Friday. The Korean Central News Agency said that authorities had been investigating the tourist for allegedly committing acts inconsistent with tourist activities.

The man has been identified as Jeffrey Edward Fowle. He went to North Korea on April 29.

Another news agency in Japan has suggested the Fowle was detained for leaving a Bible at a hotel where he had been staying.

In April, North Korea detained a 24-year-old American for improper behavior while he was trying to enter the country. He came to North Korea on April 10 with a tourist visa but then tore it up and shouted that he was seeking asylum and shelter in North Korea.

North Korea is also holding Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary. He was detained in November 2012 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for alleged hostile acts against the state.

The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning recently that advised visiting North Korea because of arbitrary arrest, long-term detention and punishment for expulsion for “activities that would not be considered criminal outside North Korea.”

“Do not assume that joining a group tour or use of a tour guide will prevent your arrest or detention by North Korean authorities,” the State Department said.

Publication date: June 6, 2014