State Department: US citizen detained by North Korean authorities

N. Korea detains US citizen; 3rd American being held

North Korea often also marks significant dates by displaying its military capability. The North Korean nuclear issue, though, remains front and center.

Last week, Defense Secretary James Mattis slammed North Korea's most recent attempt to test launch a nuclear weapon as another "reckless act" by Pyongyang to ratchet up tensions in the Pacific.

The man, a Korean-American in his 50s identified only by his surname Kim, had been in North Korea for a month to discuss aid and relief activities, the South Korean news agency Yonhap said.

The nuclear-powered USA submarine USS Michigan also made a port call at Busan in the South on Tuesday in another show of force.

The nuclear-powered submarine USS Michigan at Busan in South Korea on April 25.

Hyeon Soo Lim, a South Korean-born Canadian citizen in his 60s, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2015 on charges of trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system and helping US and South Korean authorities lure and abduct North Korean citizens.

"They are explicitly advocating pressure on us, which is as risky as lighting the fuse on an all-out war", he said in a statement carried by the state-run KCNA news agency.

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Washington has sent the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to the Korean peninsula, where it is expected to arrive - after a derision-provoking delay - later this week.

Despite the buildup, President Donald Trump has reportedly settled on a strategy that emphasizes increased pressure on North Korea with the help of China, the North's only major ally, instead of military options or trying to overthrow North Korea's government. "North Korea is a big world problem, and it's a problem we have to finally solve".

Possibly complicating matters, North Korea detained an American citizen in Pyongyang over the weekend.

A USA citizen has been arrested in North Korea, raising to three the number of Americans now detained by Kim Jong Un's regime and adding to rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang. She said the United States was "not trying to pick a fight" with Kim Jong-un: "We are not going to do anything unless he gives us a reason to do something".

Meanwhile, top nuclear envoys from Japan, South Korea and the United States met Tuesday in Tokyo and vowed "stern action" against any fresh North Korean provocations.

The Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, warned that its military is ready to "sink" the carrier "with a single strike" if needed. In the regime's usual overblown rhetoric, the website claimed mainland America would "be burnt to the ground".

South Korea and Japan - both key U.S. allies in the region - have condemned frequent North Korean missile launches that are all banned under United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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