We at Boyer Writes welcome home to the United States the three Americans who have been imprisoned in N. Korea. Kim Hak Song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong Chul are welcomed here by President Trump as they set foot on American soil.
We can only imagine the heartbreak of the family of Otto Warmbier, who was released earlier, only to die from his mistreatment.
“American detainees in North Korea have been an especially delicate issue between the two countries. One of them, Otto F. Warmbier, an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in 2016 for trying to take a propaganda poster while on a trip to North Korea. He died last June shortly after being released in a coma, having spent 17 months in captivity.
His parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, recently filed a lawsuit in the United States accusing North Korea of kidnapping and fatally torturing their son, and last week they appeared at the United Nations to speak out about human rights abuses in North Korea.
“They used him as a political pawn for as long as they could,” Mr. Warmbier said of his son, “and when he was of no value to them, they essentially sent him home to our family in a body bag.”
What is the background of the men released? (All information taken from The New York Times, article by Choe Sang-Hun )
- Kim Dong-Chul: He was a businessman who had been sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in April 2016 after being convicted of spying and other offenses. A month before his trial, Mr. Kim appeared at a government-arranged news conference in Pyongyang and apologized for what he described as his attempted theft of military secrets in collusion with South Koreans. The South Korean spy agency has denied any involvement. Mr. Kim’s predicament was not known until January 2016, when the North Korean government let CNN interview him in Pyongyang. At that time, Mr. Kim identified himself as a 62-year-old naturalized American citizen who lived in Fairfax, Va. He said he had once run a trading and hotel services company in Rason, a special economic zone near North Korea’s borders with China and Russia. He said he had been arrested in October 2015 while meeting with a former North Korean soldier to receive classified data. (NY Times)
- Tony Kim: Mr. Kim also known as Kim Sang-duk, was arrested in April 2017. He had spent a month teaching accounting at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a Christian-funded college, and was trying to board a plane to leave the country when he was arrested, according to university officials.
Mr. Kim, who is in his 50s, studied accounting at the University of California, Riverside, and at Aurora University, and he worked as an accountant in the United States for more than a decade, according to his Facebook page.
Kim Hak-Song He was arrested on May 6, 2017. He volunteered at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, doing agricultural development work at its research farm. According to CNN, Mr. Kim, an ethnic Korean, was born in Jilin, China, near the North Korean border, and emigrated to the United States in the 1990s. After becoming an American citizen, the network said, Mr. Kim returned to China and studied agriculture in Yanbian before moving to Pyongyang.
We must not forget the families of other prisoners in Korea at the many political and re-education camps that can be very brutal. Continue to pray for those still being held in places around the world, including Iran.
We rejoice to be living in a free country. We now share with you the moment of the prisoners arrive in the United States with our Secretary of State, Mr. Pompeo.
2VIDEOS: (credit Fox News and Sky News Correspondent Mark Stone ) (Turn up sound)
- The arrival of the three Americans to the USA
- Over the years, there have been N. Koreans who have dared to try to escape N. Korea. This video tells some of their stories and the hardships they endured before making their way to freedom. You will notice that the N.Korean Ambassador to the UK says there are no camps…only “re-education camps…not camps, but places.” The people who lived in these “camps…or places” give a frank picture of what happens to a person once there. One may ask, “If the South and North Korea are once again unified, will these “places” be destroyed? Will threats and intimidation go away? Will the N. Koreans be truly free?
LINK for information on N. Korean Prison Camps (Wikipedia)