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US citizen seeks asylum in N Korea: Seoul newspaper

Last Updated: Saturday, January 30, 2010 - 13:22

Seoul: A second US citizen who was detained by North Korea for crossing the border has sought political asylum in the communist state, a South Korean newspaper said on Saturday.
The report by the conservative Dong-A Ilbo daily could not be confirmed independently.

Dong-A Ilbo, quoting an unidentified source, said the American was a 28-year-old man.

He crossed the border near the city of Tumen in northeast China into North Korea`s Onsong County on Monday, the daily said.

"I came here because I did not want to serve as a cannon fodder in the capitalist military. I want to serve in the North Korean Army," the American was quoted as telling North Koreans, according to the daily.

However his identity including his name and occupation remained unknown, the paper said.

The United States said on Friday it had been formally told by the North that it was holding a second US citizen and that authorities were investigating to find out the person`s identity.

North Korea, which has no diplomatic relations with Washington, informed the United States through its mission to the United Nations in New York, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

But the United States was still unaware of the person`s name or the circumstances in which he or she entered North Korea, he said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, January 30, 2010 - 13:22

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