Previous detentions of foreigners in North Korea

AP News
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Posted: Jan 22, 2016 9:53 AM

Prominent detentions in recent years by North Korea, which said Friday it had arrested an American university student for committing a "hostile act":

— CNN aired an interview this month with a man it identified as Kim Dong Chul who said he was a U.S. citizen detained by North Korea on suspicion of spying and stealing state secrets. Neither government has publicly confirmed the case.

— Hyeon Soo Lim, pastor of a Toronto church, was sentenced in December to life in prison for allegedly harming the dignity of North Korea's leadership and trying to use religion to destroy its system. Supporters have said Lim was on a humanitarian trip when he was detained last February.

— Won Moon Joo, a South Korean studying at New York University, was freed in October after being detained for six months for illegal entry. Three other South Koreans detained in the North are accused of more serious crimes such as espionage or trying to establish churches.

— American Sandra Suh was deported last April after being accused of making anti-North propaganda while visiting the country.

— Americans Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae went home in November 2014 after their release was secured through a secret mission by the top U.S. intelligence official. A missionary, Bae had been detained while leading a tour group in 2012 and was serving a 15-year sentence for alleged anti-government activities. Miller was serving six years on an espionage charge after North Korea accused him of wanting to secretly investigate its prison system.

— Jeffrey Fowle of Ohio was freed in October 2014, nearly six months after he was arrested for leaving a Bible in a nightclub.

— Australian missionary John Short was deported in March 2014 after he apologized for anti-state religious acts. He told Australian media that he was interrogated for four hours a day during his 13-day detention.

— In 2011, former President Jimmy Carter visited North Korea to win the release of American Aijalon Gomes, who had been sentenced to eight years of hard labor for crossing illegally into North Korea from China.

— In 2009, North Korea detained two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, for illegally crossing the border. They were later freed after former U.S. President Bill Clinton visited Pyongyang.