North Korea announced Friday it has detained and is investigating an American man who entered the country as a tourist.
Jeffrey Edward Fowle entered the country on April 29, according to Pyongyang, and “perpetrated activities that violated the laws of our republic, which did not fit his stated purpose of visiting our republic as a tourist.”
The state news agency offered no further details about Fowle or the supposed crimes for which he has been detained.
Fowle’s detention makes him the third American currently known to be in detention in North Korea. Missionary Kenneth Bae was sentenced to 15 years hard labor after being caught in the North in 2012. Matthew Todd Miller, according to the account offered by Pyongyang, arrived in the capital city on April 10 and demanded asylum., the New York Times reports.
“We are aware of reports that a third U.S. citizen was detained in North Korea,” a State Department official told the Times. “There is no greater priority for us than the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad. The official added that the U.S. strongly discourages U.S. citizens from traveling to North Korea “due to the risk of arbitrary detention or arrest.”