NYU Student Held In North Korea ‘Planned’ To Be Arrested

NYU Student Held In North Korea ‘Planned’ To Be Arrested
North Korea – Pyongyang Roman Harak / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
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A 21-year-old New York University student named Joo Won-moon was captured by North Korea soldiers after he intentionally tried to cross a highly guarded boundary between North and South Korea. Upon being detained, the student said he planned to get arrested in North Korea to establish good relations between the two nations.


“I thought that by my entrance — illegally, I acknowledge — thought that some great event could happen and hopefully that event could have a good effect on the relations between north and south.” Joo told CNN.

The permanent U.S. resident, in an interview with CNN, said that he wanted to be arrested.

“I wanted to be arrested,” Joo said, looking relaxed, smiling all throughout in a conference room at Pyongyang’s Koryo Hotel.

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In the interview with CNN, Joo said how he had planned for his arrest. On April 22, he crossed two barbed wire fences, walked through the farmland and crossed the Yalu River from the Chinese border city of Dandong. He followed the river until he was arrested by the soldiers.

“I hope that I will be able to tell the world how an ordinary college student entered the DPRK illegally but however with the generous treatment of the DPRK that I will be able to return home safely,” he said.

Joo said he did not know what charges he will be faced with for his deeds. South Korea’s Unification Ministry said he was “extremely regrettable” to learn about Joo’s arrest.

Investigation is ongoing to get details regarding the NYU student illegally entering North Korea.