North Korea arrests another Christian professor over alleged 'hostile acts' against state

Another Christian professor from the U.S. has been arrested and detained in North Korea over alleged hostility against the state, the isolated nation announced on May 7.

(REUTERS / Damir Sagolj)A North Korean navy truck carries the 'Pukkuksong' submarine-launched ballistic missile during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of the country's founding father, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang.

According to North Korea's KCNA news agency, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology professor Kim Hak Song was detained on May 6. The Christian professor is the fourth American who has been arrested by the reclusive state amid tense relations with the U.S., Reuters notes.

"A relevant institution of the DPRK detained American citizen Kim Hak Song on May 6 under a law of the DPRK on suspension of his hostile acts against it," the KCNA said in its announcement.

In response to the news, the U.S. State Department released an emailed statement saying it is aware that Kim has been detained in North Korea. However, no other details were divulged.

"The security of U.S. citizens is one of the department's highest priorities," a representative from the U.S. State Department said in the statement. "When a U.S. citizen is reported to be detained in North Korea, we work with the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang."

It is worth noting that Kim had posted a message on the website of a Korean-Brazilian church in February 2015 about his desire to help North Koreans learn how to be self-sufficient. PUST has a faculty that is composed mostly of evangelical Christians, and its curriculum includes subjects that are frowned upon in the country.

Just last month, another American professor from the PUST was detained while he was attempting to leave North Korea. The university's chancellor Chan-Mo Park said Korean-American teacher Tony Kim, aka Kim Sang-duk, was arrested for his activities outside of PUST including helping an orphanage, the Mirror reports.

Kim was arrested merely hours after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened to erase America from the face of the Earth. The warning comes after he accused the U.S. of planning a chemical attack.

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