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North Korea plans deporting detained US citizen amid new weapon test

North Korea plans deporting detained US citizen amid new weapon test

North Korea plans deporting detained US citizen amid new weapon test
November 16
21:51 2018

North Korea has decided to deport detained American citizen “Bruce Byron Lowrance” to the United States amid announcing the test of an “ultramodern tactical weapon,” the Korean Central News Agency says.

The Friday dispatch added that the man had been in custody after crossing into the country from China on October 16 and has admitted to have “illegally entered the country under the command of the US Central Intelligence Agency.”

The report did not specify, however, why and when the release would take place.

Byron’s reported initials match that of a US citizen deported from South Korea last year, caught in a civilian-restricted area near the North Korea border.

The detained man had told South Korean officials that he knew “lots of people in the Trump administration so that he wants to work as a bridge between the United States and North Korea to help improve their ties…”

Earlier today, North Korean state media also declared leader Kim Jong-un to have taken part in his first publicized weapons test since the country’s test-launch of an ICBM last November.

Observers believe the simultaneous weapons test and detainee release may signal that North Korea is frustrated with the pace of US peace talks while seeking to keep channels open for future negotiations.

In the past month, North Korea has continuously denounced what it calls “confidence-destroying measures”, warning that it may resume nuclear development if sanctions imposed by Washington remain.

The UN Security Council has backed the sanctions since 2006 to choke off funding for the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. 

In light of South Korean rapprochement and heightened US diplomatic activity since January, Pyongyang has stressed that denuclearization will have to be accompanied by equally motivating US measures, primarily the removal of sanctions.

The North has firmly defended its military program as a deterrent against hostile US policies along with its regional allies, South Korea and Japan.

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