The regime described Kim Hak-song as “a man who was doing business in relation to the operation of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.” KCNA said the American was detained Saturday, but did not release more details on his alleged crime.
“The relevant authority is currently carrying out a detailed investigation into the crime of Kim Hak-song,” the state-run news agency said.
A State Department official told CNN the US is “aware of reports” that an American citizen was detained.
“When a US citizen is reported to be detained in North Korea, we work with the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, which serves as the United States’ Protecting Power in North Korea,” the official said. “Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.”
Kim Hak-song is believed to be the fourth US citizen currently detained in North Korea.
In April, KCNA said Tony Kim — also known as Kim Sang Duk — was detained for “hostile acts” toward the North Korean regime.
Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in 2016 for removing a political sign.
And Kim Dong Chul, the president of a company involved in international trade and hotel services, was arrested in 2015 and is serving 10 years on espionage charges.