7 Feb 2010

North Korea releases American activist

10:06 am on 7 February 2010

An activist from the United States has been released from detention in North Korea and flown to the Chinese capital, Beijing.

Robert Park, 28, was arrested on 25 December after he crossed into the North from China by walking over a frozen river.

The religious activist was carrying a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, calling on him to free political prisoners and resign, CNN reports.

A US State Department spokesperson said the United States had made no deal with North Korea for the release of the American.

Mr Park is the third US citizen released in recent months, the BBC says.

In 2009, North Korea detained two US journalists on the border with China. Laura Ling and Euna Lee were sentenced to 12 years' hard labour but were freed after four months in captivity as part of a diplomatic mission spearheaded by former US President Bill Clinton.