WASHINGTON, May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- At least six Americans have been officially held or detained in North Korea since 2009, according to the New York Times, but the abduction of United States citizens likely goes back to 2004 – and beyond, notes the family of missing American David Louis Sneddon. In a Wall Street Journal OpEd piece in late April, a Japanese minister of state, Mr. Keiji Furuya, has gone on record saying it is likely that Sneddon was abducted by the North Koreans in 2004. In her April 26 article, "North Korea's Kidnappers and the Fate of David Sneddon," Melanie Kirkpatrick wrote that Keiji Furuya told her, when speaking in Tokyo in March about Sneddon's disappearance: "It is most probable that a U.S. national has been abducted to North Korea."
Furuya's comment – and Kirkpatrick's resulting article - backs up information obtained from the Tokyo-based research organization NARKN (National Association for Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea) as well as the Sneddon family's long-held belief that David did not perish in a hiking accident in China, as Chinese authorities claimed, nor is he being held by Chinese authorities. Information obtained last spring also indicated that Sneddon was abducted and taken to North Korea against his will, after being arrested by Chinese authorities on the suspicion of aiding North Korean escapees.
"The charge that an American citizen was likely kidnapped by North Korea is noteworthy in and of itself," wrote Kirkpatrick, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of "Escape From North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad" (Encounter Books, 2012). "It is even more so coming from a cabinet-rank member of the Japanese government about a citizen of another country."
According to Kirkpatrick's article, other anecdotal evidence includes a source in China, which told the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Abducted by North Korea that in August 2004—the date of his disappearance—Yunnan provincial police arrested an American university student who was helping North Korean refugees. A second Chinese source told the Japanese researchers that the Yunnan police handed over the American to North Korean security agents. In both cases, details about the unnamed student correspond with facts known about Sneddon.
"While these past eight years have been difficult, we continue to believe that David is alive in North Korea," said Michael Sneddon, David's brother. "Having Ms. Kirkpatric's support and publications such as the Wall Street Journal willing to share David's story could help individuals or governments come forward with more credible information about his whereabouts. We won't give up."
The family is consolidating all information as it emerges through their Facebook page, Bringing David Louis Sneddon Home, https://www.facebook.com/find.david.sneddon and web page www.helpfinddavid.com
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SOURCE the Sneddon Family