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North Korea has detained a USA citizen on suspicion of "hostile acts" aimed at overthrowing the regime, just weeks after another American was arrested on similar charges, state-run media reported on Sunday.

KCNA, North Korea's state agency said he was held on Saturday because they suspected he commits "hostile acts" and that a "detailed investigation into his crimes" was ongoing.

In the 1990s, North Korea suffered from a starvation that was estimated to have led to the deaths of some 2.5 million people.

The arrest comes just weeks after US citizen Sang Duk "Tony" Kim was arrested at Pyongyang International Airport for alleged hostile acts.

Washington reportedly laid out four promises to North Korea if it scraps the weapons programs: it will not push for regime change; it will not seek the end of Kim's government; it will not launch an invasion above the 38th parallel, which separates North and South Korea; and it will not try to hurry along reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Authorities cited the presence of VX nerve agent, and North Korea is widely believed to have been behind responsible.

The university was founded by evangelical Christians and opened in 2010.

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North Korean news reports say a "Korean-style anti-terrorist attack" will begin immediately. It said "The security of US citizens is one of the department's highest priorities".

Kim, who manages the school's experimental farm at the college of agriculture and life sciences, was detained on route by train from Pyongyang to China's border town of Dandong, the university's co-founder Chan-Mo Park told Reuters.

The U.S. and its allies in the eastern Asian region are common targets of Kim Jong-Un's regime and its threats of nuclear war.

The other two being held are Kim Dong-chul, who was sentenced to 10 years' hard labour for spying last year and student Otto Warmbier who has been sentenced to 15 years' hard labour for trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel.

In his public confession, he said he had spied for South Korean intelligence and had tried to spread religion among North Koreans.

The university is still highly outward-looking by North Korean standards, in a nation where foreign professors are relatively rare. The nation's state media agency, KNCA, condemned President Donald Trump's deployment of a naval task force to the region, then launched into a 2,000-word editorial that accused the USA of provocative military actions and threatened not only a "preemptive nuclear strike" but promised to reduce the White House "to ashes" and ensure that America's imperialism "will be over".