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North Korea Arrests US Citizen, Threatens To Sink US Aircraft Carrier As Japan Deploys Warships

from ZeroHedge:

A third US citizen has been arrested and remains in custody in North Korea, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap. A man, a Korean-American professor in his 50s, identified by the surname Kim, had been in North Korea for a month to discuss relief activities and was detained at Pyongyang International Airport just as he was leaving North Korea, the agency reported.

The man was a former professor at Yanbian University of Science and Technology (YUST), Yonhap said, citing unnamed sources. YUST, a university in neighboring China, has a sister university in Pyongyang. An official at South Korea’s National Intelligence Service said it was not aware of the reported arrest. The reason for his arrest is still unclear, and there has been no comment from the US authorities so far. South Korea’s spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, said it “was not aware” of Kim’s arrest, according to Yonhap.

North Korea, which has been criticized for its human rights record, has in the past used detained Americans to extract high-profile visits from the United States, with which it has no formal diplomatic relations. North Korea already holds two Americans. Ahn Chan-il, director of the World North Korea Research Center in Seoul, said that the North “seems to be intending to use professor Kim as leverage in negotiations” amid the current bad relations between the two countries.

According to Reuters, Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old student, was detained in January last year and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor by a North Korean court for attempting to steal a propaganda banner. In March 2016, Korean-American Kim Dong Chul, 62, was sentenced to 10 years hard labor for subversion. U.S. missionary Kenneth Bae was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 15 years hard labor for crimes against the state. He was released two years later.

Since 2009, over 10 U.S. citizens have been detained in North Korea on charges of anti-state and other unspecified crimes. The widespread view has been that Pyongyang uses the detentions as bargaining chips in its negotiations with Washington.

* * *

Meanwhile, one day after North Korea lashed out at its biggest supporter in the region China, threatening Beijing with “catastrophic consequences” for siding with the U.S. over sanctions, North Korea said on Sunday it was ready to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier steaming toward the Korean penninsula to demonstrate its military might, as two Japanese navy ships joined a U.S. carrier group for exercises in the western Pacific.

Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike,” the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, said in a commentary. The paper compared the aircraft carrier to a “gross animal” and said a strike on it would be “an actual example to show our military’s force”. The commentary was carried on page three of the newspaper, after a two-page feature about leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a pig farm.

Read More @ ZeroHedge.com

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