Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pyongyang about to release OC man held since last year? (UPDATED)

I'm on Maui now and my only Internet access is via iPhone, so I'm reduced to typing posts with one finger and emailing important news links like this one. [UPDATE: Now back in Honolulu, I'm fixing this post up a tad.]

The conventional wisdom (er... conventional speculation) is that this is a move to secure food aid, but I wonder if Beijing is pressuring Kim Jong-il to stop kidnapping other countries' citizens in their effort to make North Korea "normal."

The link to the story is here.

UPDATE:
And Mr Jun Young-su has been released. It will be interesting to hear what he tells us about why he was arrested (the speculation is that it's missionary work — something I guessed from the beginning — but you know how I get when the press lazily speculates about things related to North Korea).

Reuters offers some video:



And we'll have to see what quid pro quo, if any, was given in exchange for Mr Jun's released. Right now North Korea is clamoring for food aid, and the US is balking so far, so that right there may be where this is headed.

UPDATE 2:
According to the Orange County Register, Mr Jun the "OC man" may not really have strong ties to Orange County after all. Apparently he hasn't really lived in OC for the past eight years (which might explain why they've done so little coverage of this story).

Then again, neither have I, for that matter, though it has been my "permanent address" for voting, taxpaying, and driver license purposes for the entire time I've been a Seoul resident. I wonder if My Jun's situation is a bit like that.

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1 comment:

  1. It's funny to see how threatened North Korea is by a missionary that even Jimmy Carter was not able to get him released when he visited the North. I guess there is something to that.

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