North Korea says it has American in custody
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 2240 GMT (0640 HKT)
- North Korea says American man wanted asylum
- Report comes as President Barack Obama visits South Korea
- U.S. State Department says it is aware of North Korean report
(CNN) -- North Korea is holding an American man who it claims arrived in the country this month to seek asylum, the nation's state news agency reported Friday.
KCNA identified the man as Miller Matthew Todd, who it says was taken into custody on April 10.
The man, according to KCNA, entered the country on a tourist visa. He tore his tourist visa and shouted that "he would seek asylum" and "came to the DPRK (North Korea) after choosing it as a shelter," KCNA said.
The report came on the day that U.S. President Barack Obama visited South Korea -- a trip that North Korea's foreign ministry condemned as being "aimed to escalate confrontation and bring dark clouds of a nuclear arms race."
The United States is aware of the report and has been in touch with Sweden -- which represents American interests in North Korea -- about it, State Department press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.
Psaki said the United States has "no greater priority" than the welfare and safety of Americans, but had no further information to release about the situation.
Photos: Americans detained abroad
CNN's Shirley Henry contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.