American man who tried to enter North Korea from South wanted to help resolve tensions, officials say

An American man who was detained by South Korean officials for allegedly trying to cross the mine-strewn Demilitarized Border on Monday — the same day a North Korean soldier defected to the South there — said he attempted the trek to help resolve the Korean Peninsula crisis, officials said.

South Korean soldiers nabbed the 59-year-old man, who was only identified as “A” from Louisiana, entering a civilian-controlled area just south of the DMZ, authorities said. The man didn’t have special government approval and reportedly came to South Korea three days before his brazen attempt, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported. A villager in Baekhak Ward found the man and reported him about an hour before he was detained.

NORTH KOREAN SOLDIER WHO DEFECTED TO SOUTH KOREA AT DMZ WAS SHOT 5 TIMES, MILITARY SAYS

South Korea and U.S. soldiers stand guard during a commemorative ceremony for the 64th anniversary of the Korean armistice at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Jung Yeon-Je/Pool - RC14332F6BF0

South Korea and U.S. soldiers stand guard during a commemorative ceremony for the 64th anniversary of the Korean armistice at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas.  (Reuters)

The man told investigators he attempted to cross the border because he believed his trip would help resolve tensions on the Korean Peninsula, South Korea’s military said. He didn't appear too prepared for his unconventional trip to the Hermit Kingdom. The DMZ, a 2 ½-mile-wide border separating the North and the South ringed with land mines, barbed wire fences, machine guns and soldiers.

The man was carrying nothing suspicious aside from extra underwear when he was arrested, officials said. He didn’t have equipment to scale over the fences, a senior South Korean military officer Suh Wook told lawmakers on Tuesday.

A local police agency said Wednesday the man will be deported, but did not specify when it would happen. A South Korean law allows authorities to deport foreigners who pose a threat to public interest and security, said an officer at the Gyeonggi Bukbu Provincial Police Agency who requested anonymity citing department rules.

North Korean soldiers watch the south side as the United Nations Command officials visit after a commemorative ceremony for the 64th anniversary of the Korean armistice at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Jung Yeon-Je/Pool - RC1B6413BA00

North Korean soldiers watch the south side as the United Nations Command officials visit after a commemorative ceremony for the 64th anniversary of the Korean armistice at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas.  (Reuters)

Americans have been occasionally arrested after entering North Korea illegally from China, but a U.S. citizen trying to get in from South Korea is unusual. In 2014, another U.S. citizen was arrested by South Korean soldiers for allegedly trying to swim across a river to North Korea. South Korean media described him as a 29-year-old computer repairman from Texas who hoped to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

TRUMP SHOULD BE 'SENTENCED TO DEATH' FOR INSULTING KIM JONG UN, NORTH KOREA SAYS

On the same day the American man "A" tried to enter the Hermit Kingdom, a North Korean soldier drove a jeep near the Joint Security Area at the DMZ and dashed toward the southern side to defect to the South. His fellow North Korean comrades fired 40 shots, five of which struck the soldier. He was said to be “stabilized’ on Wednesday after a second round of surgery, Reuters reported. It’s still unclear why the soldier defected and his identity has not been released.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance to the Kumsong Tractor Factory in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on November 15, 2017. KCNA via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS - RC1D41C4D6D0

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance to the Kumsong Tractor Factory.  (KCNA via Reuters)

North Korea’s state media did not address the two incidents as of Wednesday, but did lambaste President Trump for insulting Kim Jong Un in Trump's latest tweet against the regime. The editorial published in Rodong Sinmun newspaper demanded “hideous criminal” Trump to be sentenced to death.

Meanwhile, Kim was photographed at Kumsong Tractor Factory giving “field guidance.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam