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U.S. House resolution urges investigation into N. Korea's involvement in college student's disappearance

All Headlines 02:27 October 04, 2016

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. House of Representatives has adopted a resolution urging the government to look into the possibility of North Korea's involvement in the unexplained disappearance of an American citizen from China more than a decade ago.

David Sneddon, a college student from Utah, disappeared in China in 2004. Recent media reports have alleged that he is living in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang after being kidnapped to teach English to current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

But the State Department has rejected the allegations, saying there is no verifiable evidence to believe so.

Last week, a Utah congressman, Republican Rep. Chris Stewart, submitted a resolution urging the State Department and other U.S. government agencies to pursue all plausible explanations for Sneddon's disappearance, "including the possibility of abduction by the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea."

The resolution was unanimously adopted later that week.

"The House of Representatives encourages the Department of State to work with foreign governments known to have diplomatic influence with the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," the resolution said.

It also "encourages the intelligence community to assess the possibility of the involvement of the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in David Sneddon's disappearance and to possibly seek his recovery."

North Korea has a record of kidnapping foreign nationals.

In 2002, then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il admitted that 13 Japanese citizens were kidnapped to the North in the 1970s and 1980s to train communist spies in Japanese language and culture. He then allowed five of them return to Japan, saying that eight others were dead.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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