Prominent detentions of foreigners in North Korea

Trevor Jackson
May 10, 2017

The new detainee, Kim Hak Song, has described himself as a Christian missionary who wanted to help the Korean people become more self-sufficient by helping them develop advanced agricultural techniques.

A third US citizen, Kim Sang Dok, who was associated with the same school, was detained in late April for hostile acts, according to the North's official media.

The Korean Central News Agency did not say whether the cases are connected, Bloomberg reported.

The wife of a USA citizen who worked at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) and was detained from leaving North Korea this weekend pleaded for his immediate release.

In the past few weeks two United States citizens working at PUST – North Koreas only privately run University – have been detained.

"The idea is part of a set of proposals that the United States floated during recent discussions with Chinese officials on how best to deal with the North Korean nuclear issue", Kyodo reported.

The latest spate of arrests also comes shortly after the United States, under the administration of President Donald J. Trump, completed its policy review toward North Korea, vowing to implement a policy of "maximum pressure".

When an American citizen is reported detained, the US works with the Swedish Embassy in the North Korean capital, since the USA and the North do not have diplomatic relations.

The trumped up charges against Kim mirror charges made against other Americans, including 22-year-old American Otto Warmbier who was on a guided tour of North Korea when he tried to take a sign with political writing from his hotel.

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North Korea's mission to the U.N. said at the same time that the nation's government would react to a "total" war with the US with nuclear war, adding that the isolated nation would "surely win a victory in the death-defying struggle against the USA imperialists" and that North Korea "can never be frightened" by the Trump administration.

Diplomatic relations between the countries had been strained following the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in February.

North Korea's state media praised Kim's accomplishments, saying that the country has withstood what it calls US nuclear blackmail and sanctions.

An interview Gardner gave on MSNBC angered the regime - he called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a "whack job" and a "crazed maniac". It remains to be seen whether the pressure will produce a different North Korea approach to US -related negotiations. He was accused of stealing a propaganda poster, and North Korean officials released a video that purported to show him taking it.

North Korea is now holding a total of four Americans.

Gardner has been one of the most ardent voices in Congress in pressing the Kim regime in North Korea to stop its missile and nuclear programs, as well as its alleged human rights violations.

Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican representing Colorado, has gotten the government of North Korea all riled up.

Japanese media earlier on Monday reported that Choe Son Hui, the director general of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's North America section, was traveling to Europe for unofficial talks with former USA government officials.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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