North Korea will Deport a US Citizen Detained in October

North Korea will Deport a US Citizen Detained in October
Otto Warmbier, a US student who was released by North Korea on March 16, 2016, but died shortly afterwards (photo: illustration). Photo: Reuters – North Korea said it would deport an American citizen detained in October for illegally entering North Korea from China.

The official North Korean news agency (KCNA) reported on Friday (16/11), “While being interrogated, he claimed to have entered illegally into North Korean territory at the behest of the CIA.”

The news agency said, the prisoner was Bruce Byron Lowrance, but it was not explained when he would be deported.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement that thanked North Korea and Sweden, which helped facilitate the agreement. He added, “The safety and welfare of Americans is the biggest priority of the Trump administration.”

In the past, North Korea was slow to release American citizens who were detained, and was usually released only after a politician came to beg for their release. Usually they are in good physical condition.

But that did not happen to Otto Warmbier, an American student. He was released in an unconscious condition after being detained for 17 months, and died a few days later. The North denied reports that he was tortured.

This deportation decision may be a sign that the North wants to maintain contact that begins with America. In June, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump met at a summit in Singapore. 

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