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Ryan Pickrell

South Korean authorities arrested an American citizen Monday for attempting to slip into North Korea.

The 58-year-old American who has yet to be publicly identified attempted to cross the Civilian Control Line (CCL), a demarcation just below the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), without a permit.

The Louisiana native arrived in South Korea three days ago and then traveled north, reportedly for political purposes, authorities told Yonhap News Agency. It remains unclear if the individual is an activist or a defector.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

In September, the Trump administration bannedAmerican citizens from legally traveling to North Korea to prevent the regime from illegally detaining, torturing, or killing them. The U.S. also wants to prevent captured Americans from being used as leverage.

Otto Warmbier was arrested on a tour of North Korea last year. When he was returned to the U.S. this past summer, he was suffering from severe neurological problems. Warmbier passed away a week after he came home.

North Korea is still holding three other U.S. citizens in captivity.

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