The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

North Korea says it will expel a Japanese tourist it had detained earlier this month.

The regime's official Korean Central News Agency identified the tourist as Tomoyuki Sugimoto in a short statement Monday. It said authorities "decided to leniently condone him and expel him" from North Korea "on the principle of humanitarianism."

Japanese news outlets have previously identified Sugimoto as a videographer visiting the North on a tour arranged by a foreign travel agency.

The Japanese government recently confirmed Sugimoto may have been suspected of shooting video of a military facility while touring the western port city of Nampo. 

North Korea said Sugimoto was "kept under control" for questioning into "his crime against the law of the DPRK," without specifying his offense. The DPRK is the official acronym for North Korea.