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    The American Detained in North Korea After Crossing the Border Was a US Soldier, Officials Say

    The American Detained in North Korea After Crossing the Border Was a US Soldier, Officials Say

    , South — U.S. officials say an American detained after crossing the border from South Korea into North Korea was a U.S. soldier.

    There were no immediate details about how or why the soldier crossed the heavily fortified border or whether the soldier was on duty. The four officials spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter ahead of a public announcement.

    Cases of Americans or South Koreans defecting to North Korea are rare, though more than 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea to avoid political oppression and economic difficulties since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

    The crossing happened during heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear program. The American-led U.N. Command overseeing the area tweeted earlier Tuesday that the detained U.S. citizen was on a tour to the Korean border village of Panmunjom and crossed the border into the North without authorization.

    It said that he is currently in North Korean custody and that the U.N. Command is working with its North Korean counterparts to resolve the incident.

    North Korea's state media didn't immediately report on the border incident.

    Panmunjom, located inside the 248-kilometer-long (154-mile-long) Demilitarized Zone, is jointly overseen by the U.N. Command and North Korea since its creation at the close of the Korean War. Bloodshed and gunfire have occasionally occurred there, but it…

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