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EUGENE, Ore. -- A U.S. tour operator who has been detained in North Korea since early November attended the University of Oregon.

The Register-Guard newspaper reports that Kenneth Bae was at the university between 1988 and 1990. School spokeswoman Julie Brown says Bae majored in psychology, but left before getting a degree.

UO alum Bobby Lee, a policy adviser for Gov. John Kitzhaber, told the newspaper he and Bae were practically roommates during their years at UO.

Lee says he learned about Bae's detainment after running in the Eugene Marathon on Sunday, and couldn't believe it.

Bae is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in South Korea but most recently lived in the Seattle suburb of Lynnwood.

The United States has called on North Korea to release him on humanitarian grounds.

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