MOSCOW, September 17, 2014 (RIA Novosti) – A US citizen was caught by South Korean soldiers while trying to swim across the river that separates the country from North Korea, the South Korean Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday.
“A male American citizen was arrested last night while attempting to swim across the river to North Korea”, a Defense Ministry spokesperson told AFP.
The man was found lying exhausted on the southern bank of the Han River, meters away from the North-South border. Investigators said the man had planned to meet with North Korean leader Kin Jong-un, reports the Guardian.
The heavily militarized border between the two Koreas is a dangerous place to attempt border crossings. A handful of North Koreans regularly attempt to escape the country, however many had been fatally shot by the border guards, according to a recent UN report on North Korean human rights violations.
Three American citizens are currently detained in North Korea: Kenneth Bae, Matthew Miller and Jeffrey Fowle.
Bae was accused of trying to plot the overthrow of the North Korean regime and subsequently sentenced to 15 years of hard labor last year. Miller was sentenced to six years, allegedly for ripping up his tourist visa at passport control. Lastly, Fowle was found guilty for having left a Bible in his hotel and is expected to be tried soon, Newsweek reported.