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US student arrested in North Korea over 'hostile act'

The country has not given details of exactly what 21-year-old Otto Frederick Warmbier did.

A North Korean soldier pictured stationed at the border in 2010
A North Korean soldier pictured stationed at the border in 2010
Image: Ahn Young-joon/AP/Press Association Images

A US STUDENT has been arrested in North Korea over what the rogue state has described as a “hostile act”.

He has been identified as University of Virginia student Otto Frederick Warmbier who the country has said entered with the purpose of destroying its “unity”.

His arrest has been confirmed by North Korean news agency KCNA.

Further details of his acts were not given, but the country has said that he is now under investigation.

The BBC is reporting that Warmbier is the third westerner being held by North Korea.

Garth Johnson from China-based Young Pioneer Tours has said that the 21-year-old was part of one of its North Korean tours when he was detained on 2 January.

He went on to say that his organisation had been in touch with the US State Department and the Swedish Embassy in North Korea, which has responsibility for US interests in the country.

This move comes at a time of heightened tensions between the North Korea and the west.

Earlier this month it claimed to have successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb, something that was met with an immediate international backlash. The UN Security Council said it was considering taking action to punish the country. 

Read: North Korea claims to have invented hangover-free booze

Also: What is a hydrogen bomb?

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