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North Korea Says It Has Detained a U.S. Citizen

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea said Thursday that it had detained an American man for an unspecified crime and is preparing to indict him.

U.S. citizen Jun Young Su was arrested in November for committing a crime against North Korea and authorities are preparing to indict him, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch from Pyongyang.

North Korea told Washington about the arrest and Swedish officials visited Jun on behalf of the United States, it said. The U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department called for North Korea to release an American citizen, but gave no further details.

Several Americans have been arrested in North Korea in recent years.

In August, former President Jimmy Carter brought home Aijalon Gomes who had been sentenced to eight years' hard labor for crossing into the North from China. He was detained for seven months in all.

In 2009, journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were arrested for trespassing in North Korea and released only after former President Bill Clinton made a similar trip to Pyongyang to plead for their freedom.