Wife of American detained in North Korea pleads for his release

Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva

Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva

"I've committed to devoting my last drop of blood to this work", he wrote.

The rapporteur's findings are expected to be reflected in her report to be submitted to a meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in March 2018.

The detained victim, named Kim Hak-song, worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, the same university where U.S. citizen, Tony Kim, worked.

Kim Hak-Song was born in China, received university education in the United States, and became a US citizen in the 2000s.

"He went to the country and served with love and I believe his words that there was nothing else", she said. A naturalized American citizen who was born in South Korea, he is a businessman in his mid-60s who at one time lived in Fairfax, Virginia. It was there that he was also ordained as an evangelical Christian pastor affiliated with the Oriental Mission Church in Los Angeles. Kim Hak-song worked at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

North Korea is known for its loud and belligerent rhetoric in the face of what it deems to be threats to its leadership, and the reference to ferreting out anyone involved in the plot could suggest not only action overseas but possible purges or crackdowns at home. Most famously, when North Korea sank a South Korean navy vessel in 2010, China called on both countries to show restraint. A day in Pyongyang can easily be a day without sunshine, but up to 5,000 tourists arrive each year, and perhaps a thousand of them are intrepid Americans.

In the 1990s, North Korea suffered from a starvation that was estimated to have led to the deaths of some 2.5 million people.

Warmbier, a University of Virginia student from suburban Cincinnati, made a tearful public confession to stealing a propaganda banner while visiting North Korea with a tour group past year.

The US has strongly warned its citizens against travelling to North Korea following the arrest of a fourth American citizen in the reclusive country, saying they face "serious risk" of arrest and long-term detention.

In statements for foreign distribution, North Korea often refers to its leader Kim Jong Un without naming him, instead using the phrase "supreme leadership" or "supreme dignity".

Although religious freedom is enshrined in the North Korean constitution, it does not exist in practice and religious activity is severely restricted to officially-recognised groups linked to the government.

Song's warnings of war come after North Korea arrested a second USA citizen and professor from the evangelical-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, bringing its total of US prisoners to four. "Your choice is do the tough things with the North Koreans or we will have to do something, '" Rice said. "Our family members are waiting".

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