North Korea to Expel US Citizen Detained for Illegally Entering State

Erika Holt
November 18, 2018

"The state-of-the-art weapon that has been long developed under the leadership of our party's dynamic leadership has a meaning of completely safeguarding our territory and significantly improving the combat power of our people's army", North Korean media reported breathlessly on Friday. "North Korea is saying 'If you don't listen to us, you will face political burdens, '" analyst Shin Beom-chul of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul told the Associated Press.

Yun's comments came hours after North Korea claimed it successfully tested an undisclosed "hi-tech tactical" weapon and that had made a decision to deport a United States citizen who has been detained since October for illegally entering the country.

Joseph Yun, former U.S. special representative for North Korea policy at the State Department, said he supported the idea of Washington adjusting its message to say "we're willing to discuss certain [sanction] exemptions" instead of continuing to insist on providing no sanctions relief to the North without "final and fully verified denuclearisation".

A recent USA media report said there was new evidence that he was beaten by the regime, allegations denied by the regime, which says he contracted botulism in detention.

"We remain confident that the promises made by President Trump and Chairman Kim will be fulfilled", a spokesman said in a statement.

Display of capabilities: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"As it is a tactical weapon test, we do not view it as a North Korean military provocation", the source said. Trump subsequently said he expected a second meeting with Kim to occur early next year.

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The three men travelled home with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and were greeted by Trump on their arrival at an air base near Washington. "Pyongyang only committed to halt long-range ballistic missile launches".

"As North Korea clearly could have held this American citizen to gain leverage in up and down nuclear negotiations, that Pyongyang released this person is a good a sign".

Bryon, who is in his late 50s and from Louisiana, was later deported back to the United States.

According to NPR, "North Korea's official KCNA news agency identified the American as Bruce Byron Lowrance and said that he had told his captors that he was controlled by the CIA".

There are no known USA detainees still held by the rigid communist state. He would not provide any other details about his release.

He confessed to have entered the country under the direction of the US's Central Intelligence Agency, the KCNA said. "When a U.S. citizen is detained overseas, consular officers seek to aid him or her with all appropriate consular assistance".

From journalists to missionaries, most Americans held by North Korea have been released after high-profile interventions. The latest release also came after fresh allegations emerged last month that Otto Warmbier, a USA student who died after being held in the North, was tortured in custody.

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