28 May 2011

US citizen to be released by Nth Korea

5:20 am on 28 May 2011

North Korea is to release an American citizen who has been held for six months on unspecified charges.

State news agency KCNA says Eddie Jun Yong-Su will be freed for humanitarian reasons following three requests by American visitors.

South Korean newspapers have said the Korean-American was involved in Christian missionary work.

North Korea views organised religious activity as a potential challenge to the leadership.

US special envoy for human rights Robert King is visiting North Korea this week to assess the food situation there - which the BBC reports is the first step in deciding whether to re-start US food aid.

North Korea has accused Mr Jun of committing a "grave crime" in North Korea.

It is believed he may have been carrying out missionary work while visiting the Communist state on business trips.

The BBC reports it is not clear when Mr Jun would be released.