Skip to main content

North Korea says it has American in custody

By CNN Staff
updated 6:40 PM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • North Korea says American man wanted asylum
  • Report comes as President Barack Obama visits South Korea
  • U.S. State Department says it is aware of North Korean report

(CNN) -- North Korea is holding an American man who it claims arrived in the country this month to seek asylum, the nation's state news agency reported Friday.

KCNA identified the man as Miller Matthew Todd, who it says was taken into custody on April 10.

The man, according to KCNA, entered the country on a tourist visa. He tore his tourist visa and shouted that "he would seek asylum" and "came to the DPRK (North Korea) after choosing it as a shelter," KCNA said.

The report came on the day that U.S. President Barack Obama visited South Korea -- a trip that North Korea's foreign ministry condemned as being "aimed to escalate confrontation and bring dark clouds of a nuclear arms race."

The United States is aware of the report and has been in touch with Sweden -- which represents American interests in North Korea -- about it, State Department press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.

Psaki said the United States has "no greater priority" than the welfare and safety of Americans, but had no further information to release about the situation.

Photos: Americans detained abroad

CNN's Shirley Henry contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 4:31 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by ISIS militants brings into focus the risks faced by reporters in conflict zones.
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
updated 4:58 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
updated 11:35 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
You've seen her turn on the catwalk, but her income might make your head spin.
updated 8:36 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
updated 5:04 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
19-year-old Udi Segal explains why he won't join the country's military.
updated 1:58 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
The sights couldn't be sadder: Animals killed or suffering through war in Gaza.
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
They are the faces of a community on the run. Photographer Warzer Jaff documents the plight of the Yazidis.
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
A cameraman films a massive New York City subway rat charging at him and attacking him. WPIX reports.
Drinkers guzzled an incredible 10.3 billion liters of this brand in 2013, making it the world's No.1 beer. And you may have never heard of it.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT