Pyongyang reiterates resolve to fight against US

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KCNA, North Korea's state agency said he was held on Saturday because they suspected he commits "hostile acts" and that a "detailed investigation into his crimes" was ongoing.

According to Kim Mi-ok, Kim Hak-song had been teaching agricultural techniques at Pyongyang University for Science and Technology and did not engage in any missionary work.

The school in question is the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), which was founded in 2010. While the Chinese have acted to halt North Korean coal imports temporarily and the Trump administration has struck a conciliatory tone with China to gain further cooperation, the United States should be under no illusions that China will readily change its longstanding support of North Korea.

In past informal talks North Korea had demanded US recognition of Pyongyang's status as a nuclear weapons state.

The U.S. State Department said it is aware of the latest reported detention.

The Donald Trump administration reportedly told Pyongyang through Beijing that it would "provide security guarantee" for the Kim Jong-un regime and invite the North Korean leader to the US for direct talks if Pyongyang scraps its missile and nuclear weapons program, according to the Japan Times Tuesday.

Kim Dong Chul, a Korean-American, is escorted to a courtroom in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 29, 2016.

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The arrests come amid heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea as leader Kim Jong Un continues to pursue his nuclear and ballistic missile programs despite worldwide pushback.

North Korea has in the past detained USA citizens to use as bargaining chips in its negotiations with Washington.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported that Kim Yong-jae, the North Korean minister of external economic relations, would lead the delegation.

Or, as some have speculated, the American prisoners could be used as human shields if the United States attacks North Korea's nuclear infrastructure.

In the last three weeks, two USA citizens have been detained by the North Korean regime. And he's been a vocal advocate to impose harsher penalties on North Korea. Work is also in the process to create an organisation in United States government to deal exclusively with North Korean intelligence. Kim was born in South Korea, but is believed to have USA citizenship.

"PUST is certainly going to be in the crosshairs for - let's say special attention - by the North Korean authorities because of that book", says Madden.

"PUST exposes them to all sorts of subject matter and to interesting people", Madden said. However, the reducing levels of tension between both governments appears to have convinced AFC to allow North Korea to host the match on home turf.

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