American detained in North Korea deported back to US, official says

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An American citizen claiming to be a spy when he was detained in North Korea has been deported to the United States after a month of captivity, an official said.

Speaking on a condition of anonymity, a U.S. official confirmed to The Associated Press that Bruce Byron Lowrance was deported and on a flight back to the U.S. Friday. He would not provide any other details about his release.

The man was reportedly detained on Oct. 16 for allegedly entering into North Korea illegally through China. Korean Central News Agency reported that he told investigators that he was under the “manipulation” of the U.S. spy agency.

North Korea in the past has held arrested American citizens for an extended period before high-profile U.S. figures travelled to Pyongyang to secure their freedom.

The latest release comes just a year after university student Otto Warmbier died only days after he arrived from North Korea in a coma after spending 17 months in their captivity.

Pyongyang stands by its denial that Warmbier was tortured while in detainment, providing questionable medical records.

North Korea also announced Friday the test of a newly developed but unspecified “ultramodern” weapon that could heightened tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.

Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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