Americans Detained in North Korea: Notable Cases

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Otto Warmbier’s Tragic Tale In 2016, Otto Warmbier, a student from the University of Virginia, was arrested during a visit to North Korea as part of a tour group. He was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment with hard labor for allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda poster. During his detention, he suffered a neurological injury, and upon release, he returned to the US in a seriously ill state, passing away shortly after.

Bruce Byron Lowrance’s Mysterious Detention In 2018, Bruce Byron Lowrance was detained after entering North Korea illegally from China. Details surrounding his arrest and subsequent release remain relatively unknown, but US officials suggest his release may have been an effort to improve relations with the US after high-profile talks between Kim Jong Un and then US President Donald Trump.

Matthew Miller’s Asylum Attempt Matthew Miller, a California teacher, was taken into custody during an organized tour in 2014, charged with “hostile” espionage acts. He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment with hard labor and spent much of his time in strict isolation. Miller later claimed he went to North Korea with the intention of defecting and had a change of heart, seeking help from the US government.

Kenneth Bae’s Missionary Arrest Korean-American Evangelical Christian missionary Kenneth Bae was arrested in 2012 and faced various charges, including attempting to establish bases for anti-government activities. After a laborious captivity, he was released and returned to the US along with Matthew Miller following a secret visit to Pyongyang by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Eura Lee and Laura Ling’s Documentary Venture In 2009, North Korea arrested journalists Eura Lee and Laura Ling for filming a documentary on humanitarian conditions near China’s border with North Korea. They were sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment with hard labor for crossing the border illegally. Fortunately, they were released after former President Bill Clinton’s unannounced visit to Pyongyang, which was seen as a private humanitarian mission.

SOURCE: Ref Image from Daily Express US

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