14:55 GMT +318 January 2020
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    US President Donald Trump's administration is calling on North Korea to release a US citizen who was detained by Pyongyang authorities over the weekend, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said in a briefing on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Saturday, US citizen engaged in relief efforts in Pyongyang was detained attempting to leave North Korea, the third American to be arrested recently. Tony Kim, who also goes by the Korean name of Kim Sang-duc, was arrested on Saturday at Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport as he was preparing to depart from North Korea, following a month-long working visit.

    "Absolutely," Spicer stated when asked whether the administration calls for the release of the US national.

    "The protection of US citizens is one of our government's highest priorities. I would direct any further inquires to State Department."

    As of Sunday night, there had been no official announcement from Pyongyang regarding the arrest and detention of the US citizen.

    The situation near the Korean Peninsula has escalated recently, following several missile and nuclear tests carried out by Pyongyang. The international community, including regional countries has repeatedly condemned North Korea's military activities.

    On April 14, US media reported that US President Donald Trump might order a strike against North Korea in case of yet another Pyongyang's nuclear weapon test.

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    Sean Spicer, United States, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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