A 56-year-old man from Miamisburg, Ohio has been detained in North Korea for acting "contrary to the purpose of tourism," the state-run Korean Central News Agency says.
Jeffrey Fowle was traveling in North Korea on vacation as a part of a tour when he was detained, according to attorney Timothy Tepe. Fowle has been in the country since April 29.
Tanya Fowle, accompanied by Tepe, delivered a prepared statement on Monday about her husband's detainment in North Korea. Tepe said Fowle's three children miss him very much and are anxious for his return.
A Japanese news agency said Fowle left a bible in a hotel where he had been staying. It is an act analysts say North Korea takes very seriously.
"They feel threatened by any outside contagion, any risk to the stability of the regime. And they see religious prosthelytizing as a very real risk for some reason," said Bruce Klinger with the Heritage Foundation.
Fowle's church Ubrancrest Baptist in Lebanon declined to comment on his detainment. The US State Department said they are aware of the situation but couldn't release more information. Meanwhile, attorney Tepe says the Swedish embassy is making efforts on Fowle's behalf
"Jeffrey loves to travel and loves the adventure of experiencing different cultures and seeing new places," said Tepe.
Fowle is reportedly one of three American citizens currently detained in North Korea.
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