North Korea's state news agency announced Sunday that security services had detained Kim Hak-song "on suspicion of hostile acts against the state".
When an American citizen is reported detained, the US works with the Swedish Embassy in the North Korean capital, since the USA and the North do not have diplomatic relations.
The university said in a statement early Monday that Kim Hak Song was doing agricultural development work at an experimental farm.
"When a U.S. citizen is reported to be detained in North Korea, we work with the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, which serves as the United States' Protecting Power in North Korea", the official said.
The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology or PUST was founded by evangelical Christians and opened in 2010. "We are well-aware of it, and we are going to work through the embassy of Sweden ... through our State Department to seek the release of the individuals there".
This recent exchange with Gardner came during a week of increased tensions between the United States and North Korea.
"Even when Kim Jong Il was alive, there was a gradual shift to no longer addressing the leader in honorifics", the source said. He was accused of committing unspecified criminal acts meant to overthrow the government.
DENVER | North Korea denounced Sen.
"I wonder if Kim Jong Un has become paranoid about the influence Americans are having on North Koreans, and about the possibility of US action against him", said Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst and North Korea expert at the RAND Corporation. "I think that's what the administration is trying to do is to change their calculus so that the Chinese see that if they don't deal with the North Koreans, we will", she said.
Civil Rights Groups Vow to Battle Trump's 'Religious Liberty' Order in Court
Currently, under the Johnson Amendment , churches are not allowed to endorse or oppose a political candidate. Several prominent leaders of the religious left said it violated the USA separation of church and state.
North Korea's announcement of the detainments comes as nations fear the isolated nation is preparing another round of nuclear or missile tests.
Last month, Pyongyang detained Kim Sang Dok, a Pyongyang University accounting professor in his 50s it accused of "acts of hostility aimed to overturn" the regime of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.
Kim Hak-song became a USA citizen in the 2000s, before returning to China, where he still has family members.
The reported arrest of another "Mr. Kim" - the North Korean man allegedly at the center of the assassination plot - is more ominous.
Warmbier was detained in January 2016 and sentenced to 15 years hard labor for attempting to steal a propaganda banner. Kim is the most common surname in Korea, used by about half of all Koreans.
He said: "The North Koreans build just about everything for dual goal".
"PUST exposes them to all sorts of subject matter and to interesting people", Madden said.
David Lee, who also said he studied with Kim Hak-song in the United States, said Kim and his colleagues would send food to North Korea.
- Hyeon Soo Lim, pastor of a Toronto church, was sentenced in December 2015 to life in prison for harming the dignity of North Korea's leadership and trying to use religion to destroy its system.