CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 June 2017

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Kidnapped to North Korea

SEOUL (UCAN): An American student, David Sneddon, who went missing while hiking in China is believed to still be in North Korea and still alive by Choi Sung-ryong, a Seoul-based representative of the families of people abducted to North Korea.

Choi said he has information on the Sneddon’s whereabouts.

Choi added that he received information from North Korea confirming that Sneddon is in the country and has been moved to a remote location near Mt. Myohyang, after his case gained international attention in 2016.

The United Press International reported that eyewitnesses say Sneddon has been seen at the Chosun Red Cross Hospital in Pyongyang and at the state-sanctioned Bongsu Church.

The government of the United States of America (US) is investigating the case. Sneddon’s family believes he was kidnapped to North Korea more than a decade ago.

The South Korean newspaper, Donga Ilbo, reported on February 7 that there is speculation he was abducted to Pyongyang to teach English to Kim Jong-un and his sister Kim Yo-jong.

Choi has sources in North Korea who have helped him previously to identify more than 20 South Korean nationals living in Pyongyang.

Choi told Donga Ilbo that Sneddon is currently classified as a missing person by the US government, but if more evidence is collected its missing citizen could be reclassified as the first officially recognised American to be abducted by North Korea.

Choi’s contact in North Korea told him that Kim had issued a special decree in 2004 instructing his subordinates that he needed an English teacher for his son and daughter, who could also help them understand American culture.

Choi said that North Korean agents abducted Sneddon in 2004 and then took him to Pyongyang using a route that crosses through the Union of Myanmar.

North Korea dismissed the allegations last October, calling the abduction story fictitious.

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