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North Korea Detains 24-Year-Old American Tourist

North Korea says it has detained a 24-year-old American tourist. NPR's Michele Kelemen filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"North Korea's official news agency identifies the man as Miller Matthew Todd, saying he was arrested because of his 'rash behavior' as he was entering the country.

"The country says he was taken into custody earlier this month. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki says the U.S. is aware of the reports.

" 'We have been in touch with the Embassy of Sweden about these reports; as you know Sweden is our protecting power in North Korea,' Psaki said.

"She offered no further details about that case. In another case of a jailed American, Psaki renewed calls on North Korea to release Kenneth Bae. She says Swedish diplomats have visited him 11 times since his detention, most recently last week."

CBS News reports that a large number of 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."

The annual Pyongyang marathon was also opened up to foreigners for the first time ever this month.

One Canadian tourist who ran the race also posted pictures of her journey on Instagram. It's worth your time giving her account a quick browse, because it gives you a rare look at a normally closed-off country. We'll leave you with one of her pictures:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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