Enough of this!
It is aggravating to watch people go to the most isolated country on Earth, ruled by a homicidal and possibly partially insane dictator, get arrested, get sentenced, and then expect the U.S. to send a former President to bail them out.
It's even worse than that family who let their teeage daughter attempt to sail the word solo and then demand assistance when she unsurprisingly ran into trouble and not pay back a dime for the cost of assitance, instead, asking for donations to try to retrieve the boat!
There are these things called personal responsibility, assuming the risk, and so on.
Just don't go to North Korea. You know the risks. If you go, expect to be mistreated/executed/whatever. It's like a woman going on a nude hike through taliban-infested areas and then acting surprised/indignant upon being killed.
Just because they "shouldn't" do bad things to you doesn't mean you have any reason to expect them not to. The world is not a safe place.....
This guy apparently ran a tour business from China to North Korea. And now we're talking about sending someone to negotiate to get him freed!
SEOUL, South Korea — By sentencing an American citizen to 15 years of hard labor this week for committing hostile acts against North Korea’s government, the North is forcing the United States to choose between two equally distasteful options, analysts said on Thursday.
Washington, as it did twice in the past when Americans were held hostage by North Korea, could send a former president to win the release of the American, Kenneth Bae, who was convicted and sentenced on Tuesday in the North’s capital, Pyongyang. Then, the North, as it did before, could advertise such a high-profile visit as an American capitulation before its young leader, Kim Jong-un, who is craving a chance to burnish his profile as a tough anti-American strategist.
Or the United States, as its leaders have repeatedly vowed, could try to break the North’s habit of blackmailing its adversaries by ignoring its latest pressure tactic — and let one of its citizens be incarcerated in the police state, and even though unlikely, languish in one of its infamous prison camps, where the State Department says starvation and forced labor remain rampant.
Other Americans held prisoner in the North were kept in special facilities, away from domestic inmates, out of fear that when released, they would testify about the condition of prison camps. North Korea denies human rights abuses in its prisons but so far, no outsider has been allowed to visit any of its labor or more notorious political prisoner camps.
The sentencing came at a time of high tension between the North and the United States, and it was handed down the same day that joint American-South Korean military drills ended. The North had said the military exercises were being used to prepare for an invasion. With the end of the drills, analysts have said, North Korea might tone down its bellicosity and shift its focus toward drawing Washington back to the negotiating table — using, among other things, the plight of Mr. Bae as bait.
“The timing of the sentencing makes us think that the North is again playing its old card,” said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea specialist at Dongguk University in Seoul. “But will the Americans play the same game? If Washington sends a former president whenever North Korea holds an American captive, they say it will run out of former presidents.”
Mr. Bae, 44, a Korean-American from Washington State who ran a tour business out of China, was arrested in the special economic zone of Rason in northeastern North Korea in November after leading a group of businessmen there from Yanji, China. South Korean human rights advocates have said Mr. Bae not only ran tours to North Korea but was also interested in helping orphans there. They said security officials in the North may have been offended by pictures of orphans that Mr. Bae had taken and stored in his computer.
The North said on Saturday that it was indicting him on charges that he tried to overthrow the s government, a crime that called for a punishment as severe as the death penalty. But on Tuesday, its Supreme Court convicted him of “hostile acts,” a charge less grave than the original, the North said.
Mr. Bae is at least the sixth American detained in North Korea since 2009, and his punishment was the most severe. The others eventually were deported or released.
Most of them, like Mr. Bae, are devout Christians. While North Korea’s Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, in practice it brutally cracks down on religious activities, according to human rights groups. The government has been particularly angered about a campaign by Christian activists to bring outside news and the Christian Gospel into the isolated country, using balloons with messages hidden inside and human smugglers. Some of those same activists also work to help defectors flee.