Naturalized US citizen arrested for spying in North Korea

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A man who claims he is a naturalized American citizen, and who apparently has been detained since October in North Korea on spying charges, has asked the South Korean or US government to rescue him.

Kim Dong Chul, believed to be in his 60s, and who lived in Fairfax, Virginia, said he spied on behalf of ‘South Korean conservative elements’ and was arrested in October. ‘I was tasked with taking photos of military secrets and scandalous scenes,’ Kim told CNN in an interview.

CNN reports that North Korean officials said Kim was a U.S. citizen arrested on espionage charges. (Kim’s US passport is shown below.)

There have been no recent reports either from Pyongyang or Washington of any American having been detained.

Another North American still being held in North Korea is 60-year-old Canadian pastor, jailed for life with hard labor. Hyeon Soo Lim spends eight hours a day, six days a week digging holes in an orchard in a prison camp where he is the sole inmate.

Lim, who came to Canada from South Korea in 1986, is a clergyman known for his caring and compassion. “I wasn’t originally a laborer, so the labor was hard at first”, Lim said in Korean during a Newsweek interview.

While charges against Lim had lacked specifics, the pastor said he believes they stemmed from his continued criticism of the North’s three generations of leaders. “I admit I’ve violated this government’s authority, system and order”, Lim said in the interview.  “I hope I can go home someday”, Lim said. “I miss my family.”

[CNN; Metro (UK)]

This entry was posted in , , by Grant Montgomery.

9 references to “Naturalized US citizen arrested for spying in North Korea

  1. […] not a tourist, one more American, missionary Kim Dong Chul, believed to be a naturalized citizen of Korean descent, is reportedly in North Korean custody […]

  2. […] Kim Tong Chol told a press conference in Pyongyang that he had collaborated with and spied for South Korean intelligence authorities in a plot to bring down the North’s leadership and tried to spread religious ideas among North Koreans. Describing his acts as “shameful and ineffaceable,” Kim said he feels sorry for his crime and appealed to North Korean authorities to show him mercy by forgiving him. […]

  3. […] Kim Dong Chul had been detained in the North on suspicion of engaging in spying and stealing state s…. He was sentenced to prison after a brief trial in Pyongyang on Friday. […]

  4. […] an item with a propaganda slogan, according to North Korean state media. The other, Korean-American Kim Dong Chul, is serving a 10 year sentence for espionage, state media […]

  5. […] there has been no word on Otto Warmbier, a business student at the University of Virginia, and Kim Dong-chul, a South Korean-born naturalized American citizen, since they were separately sentenced to years of […]

  6. […] Kim Tong Chol is serving a 10-year prison term with hard labor, while University of Virginia undergraduate Otto […]

  7. […] Kim Dong Chul, the president of a company involved in international trade and hotel services, was arrested in […]

  8. […] Kim Dong Chul, the president of a company involved in international trade and hotel services, was arrested in 2015 and is serving 10 years on espionage charges. […]

  9. […] with NK News, Kim Dong Chul said he spied for the CIA for around six years before being caught and sent to a labor camp, where […]

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