SEOUL, Nov. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Tuesday formally demanded the safe return of one of its citizens detained by Pyongyang and said failure to do so can only be construed as an inhumane act.
In a formal statement released by the Ministry of Unification, Seoul urged the North to release personal information about the person they are holding.
The ministry in charge of handling all cross-border relations said Pyongyang refused to accept the South's notification asking for the release that had been sent via the Korea National Red Cross.
"Such behavior can only be construed as a sign that the North is unlawfully and forcefully holding a South Korean national," an official said.
The source, who wanted to remain anonymous, said Seoul strongly regrets the actions taken by the North, and insists the person be returned without delay.
The communist country claimed on Nov. 7 that they captured a spy working for the National Intelligence Service (NIS) as he tried to enter the capital city. It, however, has repeatedly declined to give the name and other information about the man they are holding or if he has been charged for criminal activities. The government had set up a special group last week to handle the issue.
Exact details about the man have not been confirmed, although the NIS has refuted the claim that he is one of their agents. Some Christian groups have come forward and said he is a missionary operating mostly in China.
The official said that if the North continues to reject the notice directly, it may be sent through third party channels like international organizations.