North Korea announced Sunday it has detained a fourth U.S. citizen over unspecified hostile acts against the country — the second American detention announced this week.
Korean Central News Agency — North Korea’s official media — said the country on Saturday detained Kim Hak Song, an employee of the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.
North Korea announced on Wednesday it had detained an accounting instructor from the same university named Kim Sang Dok for “acts of hostility” and attempts to overturn the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
The Korean Central News Agency did not say whether the cases are connected, Bloomberg reported.
“A relevant institution is now conducting detailed investigation into his crimes,” the Korean Central News Agency said about Kim Hak Song.
Pyongyang University of Science and Technology is the country’s only for-profit educational institution, Bloomberg reported. Both professors work and studied in agriculture, CNN reported.
Washington is aware of the detentions.
Since the U.S. and North Korea do not hqve diplomatic relations, when an American citizen is reported to be detained, the U.S. works with the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang.
Kim Hak Song and Kim Sang Dok are two of at least four U.S. citizens being detained currently in North Korea. The other two are Otto Warmbier, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence with hard labor for “anti-state acts,” and Kim Dong Chul, who is serving a 10-year term with hard labor for espionage.
The new detentions come amidst growing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Faced with the possibility of another round of nuclear or missile tests, President Donald Trump has said he won’t rule out military action against North Korea, though he also said he would be willing to talk with Kim Jong Un under the right circumstances.
On Friday, North Korea accused the U.S. and South Korea of an attempted assassination attempt on Kim Jong Un.