NK again detained US citizen
작성자 freenk
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by Oh Ju-han, Reporter


Again, North Korea revealed its notorious blackmailer characteristic while holding US citizen as a hostage; it was known that a US citizen who visited North Korea with visitor’s visa has been detained over a month.

Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the State Department said in 11th that “we are obviously aware of these reports that a US citizen has been detained in North Korea,” and "We obviously have no higher priority than the welfare of our citizens."

According to the media reports, the detained person is a 44-year old Korean American who runs a tourism business specialized in North Korea in China. He visited North Korea through Najin port with a team of tourists where he was later detained.

Nuland added that “since two countries do not have diplomatic ties with North Korea, the Embassy of Sweden acts as our protecting power for issues involving U.S. citizens in North Korea,” which refers that there would be no direct dialogue between two governments on the issue.

This is not the first time that North Korea holds the hostage and utilizes it as a strategy in negotiation; including the highly publicized case of Laura Ling and Euna Lee who were imprisoned in North Korea for crossing the border without visa in 2009, in 2010 and 2011 North Korean government incarcerated US citizens as a hostage to hold a dominant position in negotiation. Obama administration every time sent experts on North Korea to have a dialogue with the regime.

It is believed that the recent incident is to urge US to normalize the bilateral relationship; unlike its long-lived official statement of ‘opposing US’, North Korea has been looking for the normalization with US desperately. During the negotiation, North Korean government is assumed to play their cards of a hostage as well as the deployment of ballistic missiles to recover the relations with US and isolate South Korea from the negotiation, which ultimately aims for the merge of government under Communism. It is clearly shown in several incidents that North Korea has been strive to exclude South Korean government in negotiation rather than having favorable foreign relations; in 2008, North Korean military shot to kill South Korean tourist Park Wang-ja, but never apologized for the incident.
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