American detained by North Korea - report

SEOUL, Dec 13 (Reuters) - A U.S. tourist has been detained

by North Korean police, South Korea's Yonhap news agency

reported on Thursday.

Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American, was in a group of five

tourists who visited Rajin, a city in the north east of the

reclusive state, Yonhap said, citing a report by the newspaper

Kookmin Ilbo.

Bae, 44, entered North Korea on Nov. 3 for a five-day trip,

South Korean media reported. CNN said Bae was part of a

Protestant religious group in the United States.

U.S. citizens of Korean descent have previously run into

trouble in the North. Robert Park, a missionary, was detained

and he says tortured in the North for protesting over the

country's human rights record.

In 2009 former U.S. President Bill Clinton flew to Pyongyang

to secure the release of two American journalists who had

entered North Korea illegally.

The United States does not have diplomatic relations with

North Korea and its interests are looked after by the Swedish

embassy in Pyongyang.

The North on Wednesday sparked calls for sanctions from

Washington and others when it fired a long-range rocket that put

a satellite into space.

Critics say the North is breaching United Nations Security

Council resolutions which prohibit it from activities linked to

nuclear development or missile technology.

(Reporting by David Chance)

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