North Korea says a detained U.S. citizen has confessed to committing an unspecified crime against the reclusive communist nation.
The official Korean Central News Agency says the detainee, identified as Jun Young Su, has admitted to carrying out the crime shortly after entering the country in November. KCNA says the United States has been informed of Jun's arrest, and that authorities have provided him consular access through the Swedish embassy, which represents U.S. interests in North Korea.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency quotes informed sources in Washington as saying Jun has been accused of taking part in unauthorized religious activities in North Korea. Yonhap says Jun is a businessman who attends a church in the Los Angeles, California area.
The U.S. State Department has called on the regime to release Jun on humanitarian grounds.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is expected to visit North Korea later this month. During his previous trip last August, the former president secured the release of an American citizen who had been detained for illegally entering the North.
Carter has not revealed details of the visit, which is described as strictly private.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.