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U.S. Urges North Korea To Release Detained American

The U.S. State Department has confirmed that an American is being held in North Korea and has called for his release on humanitarian grounds.

The State Department did not release the identity of the American or details of his arrest.

Media reports said the man had entered North Korea on a business visa and was detained around three months ago.

Swedish officials have visited him in custody, as the United States has no diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Several Americans have been arrested in North Korea in recent years.

Since 2009, two former U.S. presidents -- Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter -- have traveled to Pyongyang to plead for the release of detained Americans.

compiled from agency reports