It is well known that many westerners and other tourists who seek the sights of the far east seldom return without at least an accusation of espionage or worse, end up on trial and in prison – at least when it comes to the dictator-run madness that is North Korea. But, this time around, the story has somewhat of a “happy” ending, if that is what you want to call it.
In 2004, a young man by the name of David Sneddon had travelled to China for a trip, never to return. His family feared the worse, obviously, until Japanese news reports surfaced, claiming that Sneddon was indeed spotted – all the way over in North Korea. Sneddon was originally believed to have disappeared while on a hike near the Tiger Leaping Gorge when he was just 24 years old, and a student at Brigham Young University.
However, Yahoo News Japan said that he was actually living with a family in North Korea, working as an English teacher. Choi Sun-young, head of the Abductees’ Family Union, said that David had in fact been kidnapped while in China as a tourist in 2004 and forced to become an English tutor for then-heir to the dictatorship throne, Kim Jong-un.
Representative Chris Stewart, who is part of the US House Intelligence Committee said: “The evidence indicates that there is are still a lot of unanswered questions about David’s disappearance. David’s family deserves answers to those questions, and until we find those answers, I will continue urging the State Department to pursue all possible explanations for David’s disappearance.” The Sneddon’s have been persistant in their pursuit of their son. This discovery and apparent report by Japanese media has helped them at least lay to rest their worries and worst fears. Of course, it is still unknown if they will ever be able to get in touch with or meet their son again, along with his mysterious family and wife, but knowing your loved one is safely alive is the only reassurance they have for now.