Prominent detentions of foreigners in North Korea

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North Korea's official media - said the country on Saturday detained Kim Hak Song, an employee of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. He has been linked to the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), though the reasons for his detention are now unclear. While the Chinese have acted to halt North Korean coal imports temporarily and the Trump administration has struck a conciliatory tone with China to gain further cooperation, the United States should be under no illusions that China will readily change its longstanding support of North Korea.

In Washington, the State Department said it was aware of the report of the new detention and that "the security of USA citizens is one of the department's highest priorities". The State Department said it would work with the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang, which handles American diplomatic interests with North Korea, to obtain more details.

US officials say North Korea must agree to give up its weapons programs if it wants formal talks to resume.

North Korea on Friday accused the US and South Korean spy agencies of an unsuccessful assassination attempt on leader Kim Jong Un involving biochemical weapons.

It noted that during public ceremonial events in Pyongyang marking the birth of North Korea's founder Kim Il-Sung, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and South Korea's intelligence services had attempted to poison Kim with "biochemical substances".

North Korea has detained a USA citizen - a self-described Christian missionary - raising the number of Americans held there to four.

China apparently conveyed the message to Pyongyang, it added, while many observers are skeptical about any significant denuclearization deal between the two sides.

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Kim Hak Song is now the tenth American to be detained by North Korea's current leader, Kim Jong-un. He was accused of stealing a propaganda poster, and North Korean officials released a video that purported to show him taking it.

A foreign-funded university in North Korea confirmed Monday the arrest of a U.S. citizen - the second linked to the school held in two weeks amid tensions on the peninsula.

President Donald Trump's comments regarding a "major, major" conflict with North Korea April 28 have triggered a discussion about nuclear war and American's relations with the country.

Seoul has said the dialogues are not related to South Korea policy.

"The Chinese have always been more anxious about the collapse of the regime than a nuclear North Korea".

He was living in China near the border with North Korea and working in a special economic zone in the largely isolated country as president of a trade and hospitality company. Lim was sentenced in December 2015 to life in prison for harming the dignity of North Korea's leadership and trying to use religion to destroy its system.

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