An American man has been arrested by South Korean border guards after trying to swim to North Korea to meet the reclusive state’s leader, Kim Jong-Un.
He was detained while lying on a bank of the Han River, located in a restricted military area near the border, according to a South Korean defence official.
The man is aged around 29 and is a computer repairman from Texas who came to South Korea 10 days ago, according to the Yonhap news agency.
He was apparently suffering from exhaustion, according to a South Korean government official cited by Yonhap.
The news agency also reported that the man told investigators he wanted to meet Kim Jong-Un.
Americans have been arrested after entering North Korea from China before, but a US citizen trying to enter the country from South Korea is unusual.
South Korea’s defence ministry was not able to immediately confirm details of the report, but an official confirmed an American man was picked up late on Tuesday and was being questioned.
The US embassy in the South Korean capital, Seoul, said it had been in contact with authorities in the country over the issue.
“We do not have any additional information to share at this time. We have been in touch with the appropriate South Korean authorities regarding the reports,” embassy spokeswoman Nida Emmons said.
It comes after an American man, who was detained in the North after entering the country as a tourist in April, was sentenced to six years of hard labour at the weekend.
Matthew Miller was held for committing “hostile acts” towards the North Korean state.
North and South Korea are technically still at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.
The border between the two countries is one of the most heavily militarised in the world.
Author: Liban Farah
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