SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

April 26, 2014

North Korea detains American tourist

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea has detained a 24-year-old American man for improper behavior while he was being processed to enter the country as a tourist, state media has reported.

The official Korean Central News Agency identified the man as Miller Matthew Todd — possibly putting his surname first — and said he entered the country on April 10 with a tourist visa, but tore it up and shouted that he wanted to seek asylum. The brief report said he chose the North “as a shelter.”

It said he was detained for “gross violation” of North Korea’s legal order and was being investigated. It gave no further details.

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters yesterday that the U.S. is aware of the report, but she did not confirm an American was being held. She said the department is in touch with the Swedish Embassy which handles consular cases for the U.S. because Washington does not have diplomatic relations with Pyongyang.

“There is no greater priority to us than the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens. We don’t have additional information to share at this time,” Psaki said.

A large number of foreign tourists were in North Korea in mid-April to see events held for the anniversary of national founder Kim Il Sung’s April 15 birthday. One of the main events, the annual Pyongyang marathon, was opened to foreign amateur runners for the first time this year and drew well over 100 tourists.

North Korea has been trying to boost tourism recently to generate income. Earlier this year, it opened a new luxury ski resort and it is planning to develop special zones for tourism, mostly from China, across the country.

But the North also continues to be highly sensitive about the activities and conduct of foreigners who are allowed in.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • 140724_SN_DLE_PEM1-1 Peabody Essex Museum severs ties with Gordon College

    SALEM -- The Peabody Essex Museum announced Thursday that it had ended its longstanding collaboration with Gordon College and its museum studies program, saying the school's attitude toward gay and lesbian individuals conflicts with its fundamental values.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 7 Stories

  • Cop wants pension credit for lifeguard work BOXFORD -- A veteran Boxford police officer is trying to boost his retirement pension by getting credit for his summer job as a lifeguard nearly four decades ago. In a letter to a state appeals board, John Iannazzo said working as a lifeguard for the

    July 25, 2014

  • 140724_SN_DLE_BRIMBAL3 Residents skeptical of Brimbal Avenue plans

    BEVERLY -- Neighborhood residents turned out in healthy numbers Thursday for an open meeting to see and discuss new design plans for the Brimbal Avenue/Route 128 interchange. Concerns ranged from biking and pedestrian safety to tax dollars spending a

    July 25, 2014 6 Photos 9 Stories

  • 140724_SN_DLE_GRIFFIN6 Peabody's new police chief receives upbeat welcome

    PEABODY -- More than 100 family, friends, well-wishers, city officials and police officers lined Wiggin Auditorium in City Hall yesterday afternoon to applaud the swearing in of former Salem Capt. Thomas Griffin as the city's new police chief. "Today

    July 24, 2014 8 Photos

  • 140721_GT_MSP_MARKETBASKET_04 [Duplicate] Ousted CEO bids for Market Basket Arthur T. Demoulas' offer to buy the rest of the supermarket chain embroiled in a widespread protest and boycott was met with elation, and then a reality check, protest organizers said Thursday. Demoulas announced his offer Wednesday night, though he

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo