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Old 28 April 2013, 12:21 AM
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United States North Korea to place US citizen on trial for plotting NK overthrow

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North Korea will put a US citizen on trial for "committing crimes" against the country and aiming to topple the regime, the North's official news agency has said.

On Saturday, amid soaring tensions between Pyongyang and the West, the KCNA said US citizen Pae Jun-Ho had admitted to the charges and would soon face "judgment". He has been in prison in the North since November.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-p...514891457.html

I hope that the claim that Pae Jun Ho admitted plotting to overthrow North Korea is just a lie, and doesn't have the grain of truth that he "admitted" it until they tortured him into doing so.

According to this North Korea has detained 6 Americans since 2009. What happened to them all? This BBC article says that "In recent years North Korea has arrested and released several US citizens, including journalists and Christians accused of proselytism. " Were they all released? Is Pae Jun Ho the only American North Korea is holding? What other foreign nationals are they currently detaining?
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Old 02 May 2013, 10:24 PM
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North Korea has sentenced a U.S. citizen to 15 years in one of the country's notorious labor camps for allegedly attempting to overthrow the Pyongyang government.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...in-north-korea
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Old 02 May 2013, 10:39 PM
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Washington ... could send a former president to win the release of Kenneth Bae. ... Then, North Korea, as it did before, could advertise such a high-profile visit as an American capitulation before its new young leader, Kim Jong-un, who is craving a chance to burnish his profile as a tough anti-American strategist.

Or Washington, as its leaders have repeatedly vowed, could try to break Pyongyang's habit of blackmailing its adversaries by ignoring its latest pressure tactic — and see one of its citizens languish in one of North Korea's infamous prison camps, where the State Department says starvation and forced labor remain rampant.
Maybe Washington could send someone whom the North Koreans find impressive, but who doesn't really have much status in the U.S., to negotiate Bae's release. Like, say, Dennis Rodman.
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Old 02 May 2013, 10:45 PM
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Or we take the fact that no one outside North Korea is going to buy the "capitulation" angle, add to that the fact that people in North Korea are not going to vote him out of office, come to the conclusion that it won't affect anything no matter how important a person we send, and send the best person to get the job done.
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Old 02 May 2013, 11:36 PM
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But by doing so, hasn't the US government indeed capitulated? Won't it encourage the North Koreans to just keep on doing it? Might it encourage other groups to do the same?
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Old 03 May 2013, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Billion View Post
According to this North Korea has detained 6 Americans since 2009. What happened to them all? This BBC article says that "In recent years North Korea has arrested and released several US citizens, including journalists and Christians accused of proselytism. " Were they all released? Is Pae Jun Ho the only American North Korea is holding? What other foreign nationals are they currently detaining?
I can count five other Americans since 2009:

Euna Lee and Laura Ling: American journalists detained in March 2009 after crossing the North Korean border. Sentenced to twelve years hard labor, freed in August after Bill Clinton flew there and negotiated their release.

Robert Park: an ordained minister with an apparent history of psychiatric problems who crossed into North Korea in December 2009 with various letters and petitions. Released after 43 days.

Aijalon Gomes: entered North Korea in January 2010, possibly doing missionary work. Sentenced to eight years hard labour, released in August after Jimmy Carter flew there in the capacity of a private citizen and negotiated his release.

"Eddie" Jun Yong-Su: businessman jailed in November 2010 after allegedly conducting underground missionary activities (one might say a pattern is starting to emerge here). Released in May 2011 after a visit from the US human rights envoy for North Korea.
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Old 03 May 2013, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by luvlyoranges View Post
But by doing so, hasn't the US government indeed capitulated? Won't it encourage the North Koreans to just keep on doing it? Might it encourage other groups to do the same?
Sending someone to talk is not capitulation by any definition of the word that I know. It would only encourage them if they got something out of it. And I'm pretty sure the North Korean government would still be imprisoning Americans even if we ignored them as they'd use it for propaganda either way. As to if it encourages other nations or groups, it would depend on what North Korea gets. But to refuse to talk at all as that would enhance their prestige is ridiculous IMO.
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Old 04 May 2013, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
I can count five other Americans since 2009:
Good information. Thanks, Chris J.!
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Old 04 May 2013, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Billion View Post
Good information. Thanks, Chris J.!
Thanks, I should note since it's too late to edit that as I was pulling sources from all over the place I got a little crossed up on Robert Park, as his known hospitalizations didn't start until after he returned from his imprisonment. I was conflating that with widespread speculation that he must not have been in the soundest of mind to do what he did in the first place - as the blog entry I linked to shows, the whole episode was pretty strange and confusing.
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Old 04 May 2013, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Sending someone to talk is not capitulation by any definition of the word that I know. It would only encourage them if they got something out of it. And I'm pretty sure the North Korean government would still be imprisoning Americans even if we ignored them as they'd use it for propaganda either way. As to if it encourages other nations or groups, it would depend on what North Korea gets. But to refuse to talk at all as that would enhance their prestige is ridiculous IMO.
And get something out of it they do. Quoting the Analysis section of this BBC report:

Quote:
So, while it may seem like another irritant to relations with Washington, the announcement of Mr Pae's conviction might actually be an attempt to draw US negotiators - even unofficial ones - to Pyongyang.

That would give North Korea a domestic propaganda victory, and it might also pave the way for more broader, more official, talks on the wider issues.

At the moment, North Korea is being offered talks on American terms - which include a commitment to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme. This is one way the regime can get a high-profile visitor to Pyongyang without any conditions at all.
The idea is, "They must come to us, they must send someone important to deal with us, and they must deal on our terms."

I doubt this will merely be a talk. Kim Jong Un will be filmed shaking hands with that dignitary, then 'inviting' him to various important events. If that happens it shows that arresting and sentencing Americans gets valuable results: the assertion of Kim Jong un's authority and important dialogue whenever North Korea wants it, not the US.
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  #11  
Old 09 May 2013, 06:05 AM
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http://www.latimes.com/sports/sports...,7234235.story

Dennis Rodman, a retired basketball star who visited the avid basketball fan Kim Jon Un a few months ago, recently called on Kim Jong Un to "do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose."
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Old 09 May 2013, 11:35 PM
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The North already announced a few days ago that they would not be using their prisoner as a "bargaining chip" this time around, and it doesn't sound like the US is too interested in trying very hard to get them to reconsider. (This mirrors NK's statement last month that their nuclear weapons were also non-negotiable now.)
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