North Korea Arrests US Professor charged with being “hostile to the state.”

May 14, 2017

North Korea arrests another professor from the U.S. over charges of allegedly being hostile to the state. Professor Kim Hak Song was detained on May 6. He is the fourth American to be arrested by the North Korean state. Three other US citizens are currently held in North Korea, including Kim Sang-duck, who had taught at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

Kim Hak Song is an associate professor with Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. A North Korean news agency KCNA reported that, “A relevant institution of the DPRK detained American citizen Kim Hak Song on May 6 under a law of the DPRK on suspension of his hostile acts against it.”


Following his arrest, the U.S. State Department released a statement acknowledging that it is aware of Professor Kim’s detention and that “The security of U.S. citizens is one of the department’s highest priorities.”


Pyongyang University of Science and Technology has a faculty that is consists mostly of evangelical Christians. The curriculum includes subjects that are disapproved by the government.


Endangered Scholars Worldwide consider this arbitrary detention a flagrant and unjust violation of the freedom, security, and safety of an academic who is clearly a victim of political repression— arrested without cause, without access to a lawyer, and subjected to physical mistreatment and psychological abuse.


Endangered Scholars Worldwide calls upon all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights  and academic freedom to strongly protest and condemn this arbitrary arrest, to call for Professor Kim Hak Song’s immediate and unconditional release, and to urge the officials of DPRK to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international conventions and treaties.

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