Monday, April 24, 2017
Kim Jong Un Raises The Ante
An American citizen has been detained by the North Korean government in the latest of a series of provocations from Kim Jong Un’s regime, The Associated Press reported, and it didn’t take long for President Donald Trump’s State Department to respond.
Tony Kim — who also goes by his Korean name, Kim Sang Duk — was detained by authorities Saturday as he was boarding a plane to China with his wife. Kim became the third American citizen in the custody of the North Korean government.
The 58-year-old Kim is employed as a professor at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology where he had taught accounting for about a month, chancellor Park Chan Mo said. He added that Kim’s teaching at the university — North Korea’s only private institution of higher learning — had “nothing to do” with his detention by authorities.
According to CNN, the school said “this detention is related to an investigation into matters not connected in any way with the work of PUST. We cannot comment on anything that Mr. Kim may be alleged to have done that is not related to his teaching work on the PUST campus.”
The U.S. State Department promptly issued a terse statement about Kim’s detention.
“We are aware of reports that a U.S. citizen was detained in North Korea,” a State Department official said. “The protection of U.S. citizens is one of the Department’s highest priorities.”
They added that they were working with the Swedish embassy to secure Kim’s release; because the United States doesn’t have diplomatic relations with North Korea, Sweden handles America’s consular affairs in the communist state.
While details of Kim’s detention were not immediately made public — North Korean state media hadn’t even announced the arrest — we have little doubt this was yet another instance of saber-rattling by Kim Jong Un. It’s the latest wrinkle in what’s become Trump’s biggest test: neutralizing the insane North Korean regime.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Kim and his family. Let’s hope that he can be released without capitulating to any insane demands from Kim Jong Un.
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