Tucson missionary captured in North Korea

Posted: Updated:

UPDATE:

3TV has confirmation the Tucson missionary who sneaked into North Korea with a message for Kim Jong Il has been captured.

The communist country confirmed on Tuesday it is holding Robert Park for illegally crossing the border on Christmas Day. The 28-year-old missionary was carrying letters proclaiming "Christ's Love" and asking the North Korean government to free refugees from political camps. Park's pastor says Park felt a higher calling.

North Korea typically punishes those who illegally enter the country with up to three years in prison.

ORIGINAL STORY:

TUCSON -- North Korean authorities say they're holding an American who entered the country illegally and it's believed the man is a missionary from Tucson.

Robert Park, 28, decided to sneak into North Korea from China on Christmas Day. He was carrying a letter calling on North Korea to shut down its political prison camps.

Park hasn't been heard from since.

His mother says he was a man on a mission.

North Korea has not released the man's name, but the description appears to match Park.