Pyongyang allows diplomats to visit U.S. detainee

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Pyongyang allows diplomats to visit U.S. detainee

WASHINGTON - North Korea has allowed Swedish diplomats to visit a U.S. citizen detained nearly two months ago after allegedly entering the country from China, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

“We can confirm that on March 14 the [Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea] granted the Swedish embassy, our protecting power, consular access to a detained U.S. citizen,” said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.

Crowley declined to provide any further information about the U.S. citizen. Sweden represents U.S. interests in Pyongyang in the absence of formal diplomatic relations.

The United States said in January that North Korea had informed it that it was holding the American, but since then has provided no information. North Korea’s official news agency said the American was detained after crossing into its territory from China, accusing him of “trespassing” and saying he was under interrogation.

South Korean news reports have said the border-crosser was a 28-year-old man who said he entered the communist North because he no longer wanted to live in the capitalist world.

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