A planned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has raised speculation the event could lead to the release of three Americans held by the reclusive state.
Kim Dong Chul, a Korean-American missionary formerly of Fairfax, Virginia was sentenced in March 2016 to 10 years of hard labor for subversion. A North Korean defector later said she had met Kim in the United States and that he had told church gatherings he was a missionary helping North Koreans.
Kim Sang-duk, also known as Tony Kim, spent a month teaching accounting at the foreign-funded Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) before he was detained at Pyongyang International Airport in April 2017 while trying to leave the country. The university’s chancellor said the arrest was not connected to PUST and that Kim, 59, had been involved with other activities, including helping an orphanage. North Korean state media reported that he was arrested for committing “hostile acts” against the government.
Kim Hak Song, thought to be 55, also taught at PUST, which was founded by evangelical Christians and opened in 2010. The university’s co-founder said that Kim, who managed the school’s experimental farm at the college of agriculture and life sciences, was detained in May while traveling on a train from Pyongyang to the Chinese border town of Dandong.
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Reported by: Reuters