Jeffrey Edward Fowle, a U.S. tourist that decided to visit North Korea earlier this year, is now being detained there for undisclosed “violations.” The American sightseer is being held by North Korean officials who are saying that the man violated the “laws of the republic” and both his possible motivations and violations are now being examined. News Max reports this Friday, June 6, 2014, that the U.S. government has confirmed they are aware of the detainment, and are investigating the issue themselves.
News agencies throughout North Korea are stating that American tourist, Jeffrey Edward Fowle, is not being allowed to return home to the U.S. at the moment. The reason for this detainment remains vague, yet country officials have stated that Fowle “perpetrated activities which violated our republic’s laws … that did not fit his stated purpose of just visiting our republic as a tourist.” In doing so, North Korea went on to say that their national agency “has detained him and is investigating him.”
At this time, the U.S. State Department of Travel has a strong warning out to discourage American tourists from visiting North Korea, yet Fowle apparently paid little heed to this precaution. American reporters have since been told by the national agency that it has been “aware of reports … a U.S. citizen was detained by North Korea.”
UK News notes in their coverage of the unexpected detainment that part of the American warning for U.S. tourists involves North Korea being suspicious of activities or violations that aren’t truly dangerous or to be examined in the first place. The press release cites that a number of arbitrary arrests have been made in recent months, all for “activities that would not be considered criminal anywhere outside the republic of North Korea.”
At least three other American tourists — all U.S. citizens, adds the report — have experienced trouble like Jeffrey Edward Fowle in recent months while visiting the Asian country. Unfortunately, North Korea has had several accounts surface involving the nation using American travelers as “leverage” against other countries, and it is possible that there may be a link between this problem and the recent exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The issue into this latest detainment case is being examined by international officials.
North Korea has also come into the news recently for vowing military threats against America. Leader Kim Jong Un has even gone so far as to threaten “nuclear” war against the U.S. and their South Korea allies if they do not stop practicing their military drills near hostile territory.