News / Asia

N. Korea Detains Third American Tourist

VOA News
North Korea says it has detained another U.S. tourist, making him the third American held in the reclusive communist state.

The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) Friday said Jeffrey Edward Fowle, who entered the country legally as part of a tour group, was arrested for violating the terms of his visa and for “hostile activities” it described as “contrary to the purpose of tourism.”

The Japanese Kyoto News Agency cites diplomatic sources as saying Fowle was taken into custody after he left behind a bible in his Pyongyang hotel room.  

A State Department spokesperson has said the U.S. is aware of Fowle’s situation.

Two other Americans held by North Korea are Matthew Todd Miller and Kenneth Bae. Miller visited North Korea as a tourist and was detained there in April. He is said to have ripped-up his visa and demanded asylum.

Korean-American missionary Bae also remains in North Korean custody. He was arrested in 2012 and  sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for alleged subversion.

Some Americans have been captured and released by the North Koreans. Often they have been forced to read video-taped confessions to various charges.

Such was Merrill Newman’s experience late last year. He was an American tourist in North Korea who is also a Korean War veteran in his 80s. Newman was held for about a month and then released.

In other cases, the North Koreans have used the detention of U.S. citizens to summon former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Both presidents in separate trips traveled to the communist state to secure the release of Americans.

Some analysts have said Pyongyang may attempt to use detained American citizens to bargain with the U.S. for concessions on its nuclear and missile programs.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Resolve Nuclear Deal Issues

Leaders find resolution on issues of liability of suppliers to India in event of nuclear accident, US demands to track whereabouts of material supplied to country More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dusty Van from: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
June 06, 2014 4:46 PM
They say he broke the law. What law was that? The one that says that all men have to have the same haircut as the Baby Jong? Ha! There should be an international law. That haircut is offensive by itself.

In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
June 08, 2014 12:36 PM
The bible seems so innocent -- (BUT?) -- it could also be a code book of some kind, that someone could use to send coded messages to the enemies of North Korea? -- People who "vacation" in North Korea, must be (CIA) spies, wouldn't you say?


by: Snake Plissken from: USA
June 06, 2014 4:36 PM
So they were actually religious salesmen on a business trip trying to peddle their product in North Korea ... calling them stupid would be a gross understatement.


by: Anonymous
June 06, 2014 2:35 PM
Maybe Obama could trade a couple of Gitmo prisoners for this guy.


by: Ian from: USA
June 06, 2014 2:34 PM
As terrible as it may sound, our government should require peoples who want to visit certain countries such as North Korea , and other dangerous countries to submit paper which states that they are of sound minds and to sign a waiver not to ask the US government to bail them out of jail .


by: Carl Morris from: Cody, Wy
June 06, 2014 2:09 PM
Someday... just maybe.... we'll not allow any of our citizens to go into North Korea... at all... Anybody that travels into North Korea should be told to stay there.... to NOT come back to the U.S. .. and if they're imprisoned, we don't want to know about it. Why the heck are we trying to play nice with that bunch of tin-hat dictators that run North Korea?? They are our enemy... Go ahead and try to convince me different.... Just watch us increase the aid we send to them....

In Response

by: The gods amoungst us? from: planet earth
June 07, 2014 2:53 AM
Is is amazing that the dictator of North Korea as no human rights, no intelegence, and apparently NOT even enough sense to have fear - How can he hate his own people so much that he want to make each and every one suffer - ? They need to have a Man in that position. - that country and people may have great potential, but the world sits and watches as ONE person decides to be a Evil god! and develtate the lives of many! - what a strange world we live in! God Bless


by: Thomas Futch
June 06, 2014 2:09 PM
Not everyone thinks that the bible is the trust some of us know the lies it holds and the danger the followers of it's writings are.


by: Nick
June 06, 2014 2:07 PM
So how much money will it cost the American taxpayer to rescue this bonehead? This person should now be responsible to pay the bill. What do you suppose it costs to send an American president to rescue one of these "tourists"?...Millions!

Sorry, but I have not sympathy for someone that goes to a country like this and doesn't know the consequences.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid