North Korea Claims to Hold Second American Citizen

North Korea has detained a U.S. citizen this week, the second American known to be held by the isolated Communist country, the U.S. State Department confirmed today.

The identity of the American and the reasons for his detention aren’t known, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters in Washington.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the North Koreans, in a bare-bones message through their representative at U.N. headquarters in New York, provided no identifying information about the detainee, including the name or gender, or details of the alleged offense.

This is the second case of a detained American in North Korea to surface in the past month, further complicating a relationship that has been badly strained for years over North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and periodic test-firing of missiles in defiance of repeated U.N. Security Council warnings.