CNN reports American detained by North Korean government

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WASHINGTON (AP) — CNN is reporting that the government of North Korea has detained a U.S. citizen on suspicion of spying.

It says that a man it identified as Kim Dong Chul is being held by the Pyongyang government and that he had traveled extensively in recent years between China and North Korea and had made some trips to South Korea as well.

The network says North Korean authorities are maintaining that Kim had stolen state secrets and engaged in espionage.

In Washington, a State Department official refused to confirm the story.

The official said “speaking publicly about specific purported cases of detained Americans can complicate our tireless efforts to secure their freedom.” The official spoke only on grounds of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

CNN displayed Kim’s US passport.

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