Pompeo thanks N. Korea, Sweden for securing American’s release

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked North Korea and Sweden Friday for working to secure the release of a U.S. citizen who was detained after entering the North illegally last month from China.

«The United States appreciates the cooperation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the embassy of Sweden in facilitating the release of an American citizen,» the top U.S. diplomat said in a statement, referring to North Korea by its formal name.

North Korea’s state media reported earlier in the day that the country has decided to deport the U.S. citizen, identified as Bruce Byron Lowrance, who was detained as he entered North Korea through its land border with China on Oct. 16.

«During the investigation, Lowrance stated that he illegally entered the DPRK under the manipulation of the CIA,» the Korean Central News Agency said.

While the authorities assert CIA involvement, the deportation of the man just a month after his capture indicates that consideration may have been given to the effect of his continued detention on nuclear negotiations between the United States and North Korea.

All — Kyodo News+

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