American Student Kidnapped By North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un Is One Step Closer To Home


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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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A resolution requesting a formal Department of State investigation into the disappearance of David Sneddon passed the House of Representatives today, according to a press release.

Sneddon, a Utah native and Brigham Young University student, vanished Aug. 14, 2004, while on a hike along the Jinsha River near Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan, China. Chinese authorities said that David, who was 24 at the time of his disappearance, probably fell in the river and drowned, but his body was never recovered.

Sneddon may have actually been kidnapped by the North Koreans, reports indicate. Earlier this month, Choi Sun-yong, head of the Abductees Family Union in South Korea, revealed that David matched the description of Kim Jong Un’s personal English teacher. Sneddon is said to be alive, healthy, and married with children.

An official Department of State investigation into this matter depends on the approval of pending legislation.

Utah Rep. Chris Stewart introduced House Congressional Resolution 114 Feb. 10, 2016 after evidence that Sneddon might have been taken by North Koreans surfaced. The resolution calls for a formal State Department investigation into whether or not the Korean government actually abducted Sneddon and U.S. efforts to recover him.

His family and North Korean policy experts believe that Sneddon was, in fact, abducted by North Koreans. A number of reports suggest that North Korean operatives working in China may have picked David up for his language abilities. Sneddon is a native English speaker and fluent in Korean, skills that the North Koreans would likely see as highly valuable.

The congressman knows the Sneddons personally and has a vested interest in this case, Rep. Stewart’s office told TheDCNF. The Sneddons, as well as many others, are eager to see David come home. The passing of House Congressional Resolution 114 is a step towards that goal.

“As the resolution indicates, there is more work to be done by the State Department and Intelligence Community,” Rep. Stewart said in the press release. “Particularly given the recent reports out of South Korea that David may be alive, David’s family deserves answers, and until we find those answers we should continue to pursue all possible explanations for David’s disappearance.”

Launching an investigation into Sneddon’s disappearance will be challenging. U.S. ties to China are strained, and the U.S. and North Korea have been in a firm standoff since Pyongyang conducted its fifth nuclear test Sept. 9.

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