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China reported to have detained N. Korean for smuggling charges

All News 11:46 June 12, 2016

TOKYO, June 12 (Yonhap) -- Chinese authorities detained a suspected North Korean spy earlier this month for smuggling charges, a Japanese newspaper reported on Sunday.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, Chinese authorities arrested an unidentified North Korean citizen in Dandong, a border city in Liaoning Province next to North Korea. They reportedly arrested the North Korean in the middle of the night and seized 30 million Chinese yuan (about US$4.5 million) and gold bars that were in his house. The authorities have yet to disclose the exact charges brought against the man, but sources expect that they are related to smuggling banned substances that are listed in the United Nations sanctions.

According to the report, the agent has been living in Dandong for a few years and was called an "executive director," and "state representative" among North Korean traders.

The arrest was made just a few days after Ri Su-yong, the vice chairman of the North's ruling Workers' Party, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and returned to Pyongyang on June 2. The Yomiuri said that China's rare arrest of a suspected North Korean agent hints at Beijing's pressure on Pyongyang to give up its nuclear programs.

The arrest was reported to the North Korean Embassy and an official from Pyongyang departed for China to resolve the case, but it is not confirmed whether the North Korean man has been released from jail at this moment, the newspaper reported.


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