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

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail 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.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

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