Tuesday, June 9, 2009

History of Americans captured in North Korea

2009 - Journalists Laura Ling & Euna Lee are arrested on the Chinese border by North Korean security forces and sentenced to 12 years in a hard labor camp.

1997 - A US helicopter is shot down over North Korean airspace, killing one pilot but leaving the other unharmed. Richardson is able to persuade North Korean authorities to release the pilot, US Army warrant officer Bobby Hall.

1996 - Tacoma, WA resident Evan Hunziker swims across the Yalu River on a dare and is imprisoned by North Korea. He is released when New Mexico governor Bill Richardson travels to North Korea on his behalf. Hunziker commits suicide less than a month after returning to the US.

1968 - The US radar vessel USS Pueblo is seized in international waters. All 82 crew were held captive by the North Koreans for 11 months, when they were allowed to cross the DMZ into South Korea.

1965 - US soldier Charles Jenkins defects to North Korea while on a patrol along the DMZ. Jenkins married Japanese citizen Hitomi Soga while there, and they had two daughters - the family finally managed to leave for Japan in 2004, after Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi personally asked Kim Jong-Il to release them.

1962 - US soldier James Dresnok defects to North Korea. As of 2009, he still lives there.

1962 - US soldier Joseph White defects to North Korea. His current whereabouts are unknown.

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