Kim Hak Song Becomes 4th American Detained by North Korea

North Korea has detained another United States citizen on charges of committing "hostile acts" against the country, the North's official news agency reported Sunday.

"A relevant institution of the DPRK detained American citizen Kim Hak Song on May 6 under a law of the DPRK on suspension of his hostile acts against it", KCNA said.

Other Americans being held in North Korea include OH native Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who was arrested in January 2016 while he was on a tour of North Korea, and Kim Dong Chul, who was arrested in October 2015 while in North Korea on business.

A State Department official said Washington was "aware of reports that a USA citizen was detained in North Korea", adding it would liaise with the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, which helps look after U.S. interests in North Korea.

"During that visit, Mr Kim was at PUST to do agricultural development work with PUST's experimental farm", it said in a statement.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un (centre) waves as he attends a ceremony for the opening of a housing project in Pyongyang on April 13, 2017.

"North Korea is persecuting their savior, a person who came to help them". He was detained as he was leaving North Korea with his tour group.

The English version of the state-run Korean Central News Agency identified the detained citizen as Jin Xue Song, a Chinese version of the name Kim Hak-song.

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The volunteer faculty of PUST, many of whom are evangelical Christians, has a curriculum that includes subjects once considered taboo in North Korea, such as capitalism.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement saying it was aware of the detention reports.

It remained unclear whether Kim Hak-song's arrest was connected to Tony Kim's.

North Korea confirmed Wednesday that it had detained Tony Kim, who was seized April 22 as he tried to leave the country. It said his detention was not related to his work at the university and therefore it could not comment further.

North Korea's announcement of the detainments comes amid tensions over fears that Pyongyang is preparing another round of nuclear or missile tests.

Warmbier was detained in January 2016 and sentenced to 15 years hard labour for attempting to steal a propaganda banner. They were each sentenced to at least a decade of hard labor and have not been seen or heard from since.

South Korea's unification ministry said Monday that it is verifying information about North Korea's latest detainment of another United States citizen.

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