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Kim Il Sung

North Korea says it is holding a naturalized American on espionage charges

North Korea claims it is holding a naturalized U.S. citizen on suspicion of spying for South Korea, CNN reported Monday.

If confirmed, the man would be one of several Americans detained in recent years by the reclusive communist state. The State Department declined to comment on the report, explaining in an email that “speaking publicly about specific purported cases of detained Americans can complicate our tireless efforts to secure their freedom.”

The news comes at a time of heightened tension on the Korean peninsula and appeared designed to put pressure on the United States and its allies, which are seeking to increase international sanctions on the government...