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US Soldier Believed to be Detained by North Korea After Crossing Border

Seoul, South KoreaCNN — A US national is believed to be in North Korean custody after crossing the border during a tour, a United Nations agency said Tuesday.

The man is a US Army soldier, a US official confirmed to CNN. He was detained during a Joint Security Area tour after crossing the Military Demarcation Line separating North and South Korea, the United Nations Command said in a tweet.

“A U.S. National on a JSA orientation tour crossed, without authorization, the Military Demarcation Line into the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). We believe he is currently in DPRK custody and are working with our KPA counterparts to resolve this incident,” the UNC said.

The details of the incident, including whether the soldier crossed the border intentionally, are so far unclear. The soldier is low-ranking but officials say they are waiting to confirm his identity until his next of kin is notified.

The Joint Security Area is the most recognizable part of the wider Demilitarized Zone between South and North Korea, and tours of the area are open to the public and organized by the United Nations Command.

The JSA has been disarmed since 2018 after an inter-Korean military agreement, so both the UNC and North Korean soldiers at the area are unarmed. Neither the UN command soldiers or the North Korean soldiers are allowed to cross the military demarcation line separating North and South.

Source : CNN