Updated 11:35 PM EDT, Sun, Jun 20, 2021

U.S, Citizen Detained In North Korea for Spying & Stealing State Secrets

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One week after North Korea tested a nuke, the solitary country announced that they captured a US citizen, reported Slate.

North Korea claimed that it is holding captive another US Citizen, named Kim Dong Chul. Kim was revealed to CNN when he sat for an interview at a Pyongyang hotel, claiming that he was a naturalized US citizen from Fairfax, Virginia.

He told CNN's Will Ripley that he was "frogmarched into the room by stony-faced guards." The US government was not yet able to confirm Kim's identity, although the prisoner said that he moved to Yanji, China, on the Korean border in 2001.

He also revealed, with permission from the guards, that he traveled across the border daily on behalf of a hotel services company. He also shared that he was spying on behalf of the "South Korean conservative elements," taking photos of military secrets as well as "scandalous" scenes. He also said that the South Koreans "injected me with a hatred towards North Korea. They asked me to help destroy the (North Korean) system and spread propaganda against the government."

Kim was arrested in October on espionage charges. He told CNN in a plea, "I'm asking the U.S. or South Korean government to rescue me."

State Department spokesman John Kirby said that he could not confirm reports and declined to discuss the issue further, considering that Washington and Pyongyang don't have diplomatic relations. However, according to ABC News, he told reporters that "We are looking into the matter, and when we have more that we can say -- if we have more that we can say -- we will."

If his story is confirmed, Kim will be the first US Citizen held in North Korea since 2014, when the US was able to negotiate the release of a missionary and a tourist.

With that in mind, it has been noted that North Korea had been using prisoners for propaganda purposes in order to get high-profile figures to visit the isolated country. Bill Clinton was noted to have met with Kim Jong-il in 2009 to secure the release of two US journalists, while Jimmy Carter was sent to fetch Christian activist Aijalon Mahli Gomes in 2010.

The announcement of Kim's capture came just a week after North Korea made international headlines when it executed a nuclear test that they claimed was a hydrogen bomb, although many doubt the truthfulness of the statement.

Kim is said to have appeared to be in good health, and he said he has been getting proper nourishment. He is currently being held in a Pyongyang hotel with access to local newspapers as well as a television.

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