North Korea detains second US professor working at Pyongyang university
- Author: Leroy Wright May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 12:01
"When a USA citizen is reported to be detained in North Korea, we work with the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang", a State Department official noted in a statement to Reuters.
North Korea has detained another American who worked at a private university in Pyongyang, taking to four the number of USA citizens who are being held by Kim Jong Un's regime.
According to Kim Mi-ok, Kim Hak-song had been teaching agricultural techniques at Pyongyang University for Science and Technology and did not engage in any missionary work. "A relevant institution is now conducting detailed investigation into his crimes", it added.
CNN reported that Kim Hak-song, the latest US citizen under arrest, was born in Jilin, China, and educated at a university in California.
Trump warned in an interview with Reuters this month a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible, but then raised eyebrows by saying he would be "honored" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un under the right circumstances.
Sweden handles US consular affairs in North Korea, including those of American detainees.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shared her thoughts on the latest North Korean provocations and President Donald Trump's controversial remarks toward the regime's leader, Kim Jong Un. An unspecified number of suspects have been arrested in the case. "But as far as we know, it's not true", a foreign ministry official in Seoul said. He is the second university instructor to be arrested in the past two months.
Tony Kim - or Kim Sang Dok - also a PUST staffer, was arrested on April 22 at an airport in Pyongyang on charges of "hostile acts" toward the regime.
Three other U.S. citizens are now held in North Korea, including Kim Sang-duck, who had taught at PUST.
The others are Otto Warmbier, serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor for alleged anti-state acts he allegedly tried to steal a propaganda banner at his tourist hotel and Kim Dong Chul, serving a 10-year term with hard labor for alleged espionage. Kim was born in South Korea, but is believed to have US citizenship. Its students are generally children of the country's elite.
Meanwhile, North Korea continued its tirade over alleged United States provocations even as the meeting was underway in Oslo on Monday.
US Forces' Korea division will be handed with task of gathering human intelligence from North Korea regime.
- In 2009, North Korea detained two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, for illegally crossing the border.