NATIONAL

Seoul to free American nabbed near inter-Korean border

By Yonhap
  • Published : Nov 15, 2017 - 16:00
  • Updated : Nov 15, 2017 - 16:00

UIJEONGBU, South Korea -- A US citizen who has been detained for crossing the Civilian Control Line without permission in an attempt to enter North Korea will be freed and deported Wednesday, the police here said.

The 58-year-old American, only identified as "A," was seized at 9:55 a.m. Monday as he trespassed on the northern side of the control line in Yeoncheon County, 62km north of Seoul.

Hailing from Louisiana, the American reportedly came to the South three days before his arrest and violated the line to enter the communist North, a breach of the National Security Law. 

(AP)

Drawn just below the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone bisecting the two Koreas, the line strictly controls civilian entry to protect the security of military facilities and operations there, and anyone who crosses it is required to get a prior permit.

In a police probe, the American reportedly stated that he had done the illegal act in the thought that it would contribute to US-North Korea negotiations and subsequently he could attract public attention.

Testifying that he collected information from the Internet for his plan to enter the North, the US national claimed, however, that he had not recognized that crossing the line constitutes a legal violation, according to the police.

He declined to reveal his personal details like his family relations or job, the police said, adding that no problem was found in his health.

The America met a US consul during the probe, the police said.

On Tuesday, the US State Department said that it will visit the US citizen as early as possible and is ready to provide appropriate consular services. (Yonhap)