On the Arrest of Two US Citizens in the DPRK and the Release of One

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At the beginning of May 2017, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported the detention of two US citizens, both of Korean origin.

Initially, on May 3, KCNA announced that on April 22, the country’s “competent authorities” had arrested US citizen Kim Sang-duk because he had systematically committed “a hostile crime to overthrow the state” on more than one occasion. Although such a formulation may mean different things, it mostly serves as a euphemism for the secret distribution of banned anti-communist or Christian literature.

On May 6, another US citizen, Kim Hak-sun, was detained. The reason for the detention was also related to his “hostile acts”.

Both detainees have connections to the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), which trains representatives of various engineering specialties. This is the only educational institution in North Korea that is funded by foreign investment. It was opened in 2010 by a Christian entrepreneur…

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