Wife of American detained in Pyongyang pleads for release

Cheryl Sanders
May 15, 2017

The detainee, the report added, was identified as Kim Hak-song, who was a USA professor working at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

"I hope everybody joins in resolving this issue as soon as possible", said Kim Mi Ok, the wife of agriculture researcher Kim Hak-song, who was arrested Saturday on suspicion of "hostile acts" against the North Korean government.

He worked at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, the same workplace as another American, accounting instructor Kim Sang Dok, whose detention was announced last Wednesday.

Kim Hak-song was reportedly detained on May 6, with officials claiming that they are conducting a "detailed investigation" of his alleged crimes.

North Korea arrested a USA citizen for alleged hostile activities in April at Pyongyang airport. While Kim Jong-un continues to test his military might, the North Korean dictator is waging a war of words with Gardner.

Four US citizens are now being held in North Korea, a country with which the US has no diplomatic relations and has technically remained at war with since the 1950-53 Korean conflict.

In Washington, the State Department said it was aware of the report of the new detention and that "the security of USA citizens is one of the department's highest priorities".

Korea studies professor Stephan Haggard of the University of California San Diego described these two recent arrests as "classic asymmetric warfare", to Time magazine, with North Korea "nabbing" American citizens in response to pressure against its nuclear and missile programs.

An official of the US State Department said the detentions underscored 'the risk associated with travel to North Korea'.

Warmbier, a University of Virginia student from suburban Cincinnati, made a tearful public confession to stealing a propaganda banner while visiting North Korea with a tour group past year.

He became a USA citizen in the 2000s, then returned to China.

Classmates from the United States told CNN that Kim Hak Song is an ethnic Korean who was born in China and emigrated to the United States in the 1990s. State media said he was involved in the timber industry in Khabarovsk, which is one of the primary places North Koreans can go overseas to work.

Jeffrey Fowle, 58, said he was forced to undergo "coached confessions" during which he was coerced into writing a statement of guilt.

"We are developing our nuclear strength to respond to that kind of attack by the United States", he stressed. He was accused of "acts of hostility aimed to overturn" the rule of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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