Is North Korea targeting a Pyongyang university for elites?

Jerome Frank
May 10, 2017

A third US citizen, Kim Sang Dok, who was associated with the same school, was detained in late April for hostile acts, according to the North's official media.

Last month, North Korean officials detained Pyongyang University accounting professor Kim Sang Dok. Despite being a USA citizen, Song was apparently committed to improving the lives of North Koreans by refining their agriculture technology, according to CNN.

After arresting two American university instructors and laying out what it says was an elaborate, CIA-backed plot to assassinate Kim Jong Un, North Korea is claiming to be the victim of state-sponsored terrorism - from the White House.

Kim Hak Song, who worked for the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, was detained on Saturday, the North's KCNA news agency said.

While the leadership under President Xi Jinping is increasingly irked by a series of North Korea's banned weapons tests in defiance of worldwide warnings, Beijing has said countless times that it is against the use of military force and called for dialogue to ease tensions on the peninsula.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged the United Nations Wednesday to consider new sanctions against North Korea if Kim Jun Un continued to move forward with his plans to build a nuclear missile capable of striking the US, according to Reuters.

North Korea, which has been criticized for its human rights record, has in the past used detained Americans to extract high-profile visits from the United States, with which it has no formal diplomatic relations.

The U.S. State Department said on Monday that it was aware of the reports about Kim Hak Song's arrest, but could not comment further due to "privacy considerations".

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THE US has made a final offer to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as both nations stand on the verge of World War 3.

Korea studies professor Stephan Haggard of the University of California San Diego described these two recent arrests as "classic asymmetric warfare", to Time magazine, with North Korea "nabbing" American citizens in response to pressure against its nuclear and missile programs.

China is believed to have already informed North Korea of the USA proposals.

North Korea is known for its loud and belligerent rhetoric in the face of what it deems to be threats to its leadership, and the reference to ferreting out anyone involved in the plot could suggest not only action overseas but possible purges or crackdowns at home.

"This is not a situation that any president can tolerate", Rice said, adding that "something has to be done" to stop North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Last year's party congress, the first one in more than 30 years, was a venue for Kim to reaffirm his unfettered rule.

- American Sandra Suh was deported in April 2015 after being accused of making anti-North Korea propaganda while visiting the country.

He was living in China near the border with North Korea and working in a special economic zone in the largely isolated country as president of a trade and hospitality company.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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