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 2:18 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 11:54 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would undoubtedly be "complicated." Can the U.S. Secretary of State's visit change that?
updated 10:38 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
The death of an American from Ebola fuels fears of the further global spread of the virus.
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
updated 7:08 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Nearly two weeks after MH17 was blown out of the sky, Dutch investigators have yet to lay eyes on the wreckage. How useful will it be now?
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
The U.S. and EU are imposing new sanctions on Moscow -- but will they have any effect?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
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