North Korea

North Korea Acknowledges Holding American Citizen

Identity not formally confirmed yet

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The State Department said Friday that North Korea acknowledges it is holding an American citizen but hasn't granted diplomats consular access so the person's identity is not yet confirmed.

Expectation is that it will be Merrill Newman of California. The 85-year old Korean War veteran's family says he was detained at the end of a tourist trip to North Korea last month.

Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that Sweden has been informed by Pyongyang that it is detaining an American citizen. Because the U.S. has no diplomatic relations with North Korea, Sweden oversees consular issues for the United States there.

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