US Official: North Korea Detains 24-Year-Old American Man

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Religion, Mental Problems Draw Many Americans To North Korea (credit: KNS/AFP/Getty Images)

Religion, Mental Problems Draw Many Americans To North Korea (credit: KNS/AFP/Getty Images)

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PYONGYANG, North Korea (CBS News/CBSDC/AP) — North Korea has detained a 24-year-old American man for what it called improper behavior while he was being processed to enter the country as a tourist, a U.S. official confirmed to CBS News.

The official Korean Central News Agency identified the man as Miller Matthew Todd and said he entered the country on April 10 with a tourist visa, but tore it up and shouted that he wanted to seek asylum.

It said Todd was detained for “gross violation” of North Korea’s legal order and is being investigated.

The announcement Friday came as President Barack Obama was visiting rival South Korea. Obama warned North Korea that it would face tougher sanctions if it follows through with threats to conduct a fourth nuclear test.

Kenneth Bae, a Korean American missionary, has been held for 17 months in North Korea and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. He was arrested in November 2012 while leading a tour group and accused of crimes against the state.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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