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US soldier arrested in North Korea after crossing border from South

North Korea Border
North Korea Border Copyright Kim Hong-Ji/AP
Copyright Kim Hong-Ji/AP
By Philip Andrew Churm with AP
Published on Updated
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A US soldier is being held in North Korea after crossing the heavily fortified border from the South

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An American detained after crossing the border from South Korea into North Korea was a U.S. soldier, according to U.S. officials. 

The man is said to have been on a tour to the Korean border village of Panmunjom and crossed into the North without authorisation.

He is believed to be held in North Korean custody and the United Nations Command is working with North Korean officials to resolve the incident.

There are no further details on who the person is or why he crossed the border.

It comes amid increased tension between North Korea and the United States who deployed a nuclear-armed submarine to South Korea on Tuesday for the first time in four decades.

Allies have warned North Korea that any use of nuclear weapons in combat would result in the end of its regime.

However, periodic visits by US nuclear ballistic missile-capable submarines to South Korea were among several agreements reached by the two countries in April in response to North Korea's expanding nuclear threat.

Cases of Americans or South Koreans defecting to North Korea are rare, though more than 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea to avoid political oppression and economic difficulties since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Panmunjom, located inside the 248km Demilitarised Zone, was created at the end of the Korean War. 

Bloodshed and gunfire have occasionally occurred there but it has also been a venue for numerous talks and a popular tourist spot.

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