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US Firm Plans More Tours to North Korea

FILE: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un holds up a parliament membership certificate at a Supreme People's Assembly in Pyongyang, North Korea, on April 9, 2014. American Matthew Todd Miller has been detained in the country since April 10.
A U.S. tourism company that organized a trip for the American citizen detained earlier this month in North Korea told VOA's Korean service it will go ahead with further trips there for Americans.

“Given the facts of the case, we have decided to just go ahead with all of our scheduled tours,” said John Dantzler-Wolfe, director of the New Jersey-based Uri Tours.

The detention of 24-year-old Matthew Todd Miller is “a pretty unique situation,” Dantzler-Wolfe said.

Dantzler-Wolfe said the company’s tour partners in the communist country told him that Miller had ripped up his visa and declared he was not a tourist.

Uri Tours expects no further difficulties in continuing its North Korea excursions, Dantzler-Wolfe said. The company had communicated with its North Korean tour partners and was cooperating with diplomatic authorities to resolve Miller’s detention, he said.

North Korea announced Friday that an American had arrived there April 10 and was being held for “rash behavior” while passing through customs.

The North Korean government also said Miller had demanded asylum.

The State Department said it was aware of Miller’s detention and was working with the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang on the issue.

The Swedish Embassy often represents the interests of American citizens in the reclusive state, as Washington does not have diplomatic relations with Pyongyang.
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    Jee Abbey Lee

    Jee Abbey Lee is a veteran broadcast journalist with more than 10 years of experience in TV, radio, and the web. She serves as Voice of America's social media correspondent and is an expert of millennial lifestyle. 

    Lee received her graduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to joining VOA, she worked at the Seoul bureau of CNN Travel and served as the chief Bank of Korea correspondent for Arirang TV.