PYONGYANG, North Korea – North Korea said Friday that it has detained an American citizen who has confessed to unspecified crimes.
State media said in a short dispatch that someone named Bae Jun Ho entered North Korea on Nov. 3 as a tourist but was detained because of crimes.
The North said the crimes were "proven through evidence" but didn't elaborate.
Pyongyang has detained and eventually released several Americans in recent years. Some have been Christians accused of religious proselytizing.
Two journalists were also detained after crossing into the North from China while on a reporting trip but were later released.
South Korean activists have told local media in Seoul that Bae is a Korean American and was detained after entering North Korea to guide tourists. Bae operates a tourism company that specializes in North Korea, the reports said.
The North Korean dispatch said officials from the Swiss Embassy met Bae on Friday, but there were no other details about the meeting. The United States doesn't have diplomatic relations with Pyongyang so American citizens are given aid by the Swiss.
Bae is undergoing "legal treatment" according to North Korea's criminal law, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said.