An American college student David Sneddon, now 36 years old,Â who disappeared in China 12 years ago and was believed to have died wasÂ actually allegedlyÂ kidnapped and forced to work as Kim Jong Unâ€™s personal tutor in Pyongyang, where he still lives to this day, married with a wife and 2 children, according to a South Korean activist organization.
Sneddonâ€™s family claims on aÂ website devoted to the search for him that they believe Sneddon was kidnapped by North Korea and is being held hostage there. The claim appears to have stemmed from information gathered over the years and recent comments fromÂ Choi Sung-yong, head of South Koreaâ€™s Abducteesâ€™ Family Union.
On Wednesday,Â a Japanese news source reported that Sneddon was abducted by agents of the North Korean government and whisked away some 2,500 miles from the Chinese province where he vanished. They claimÂ Sneddon became an English tutor toÂ Kim Jong-un, The news outlet, Yahoo News Japan cited South Koreaâ€™s Abducteesâ€™ Family Union for the information and claimÂ Sneddon lives in Pyongyang, where he teaches English with his wife and children.
Sneddonâ€™s parents said they believe their son was taken by the North Korean regime for training purposes because of his fluency in Korean.
His mother, Kathleen Sneddon, said that the claim that her son is in North Korea doesnâ€™t surprise her at all.
â€œWe just knew in our heart that he was alive, so we had to keep fighting,â€ she said.
When Sneddonâ€™s father and two brothers
traveled to China to retrace his footsteps, they encountered a
dozen eyewitnesses who saw and interacted with Sneddon before he
disappeared more than 70 miles beyond the gorge.
Sneddonâ€™s family said they have renewed hope in their sonâ€™s case, while also noting the number of people believed to have been abducted by the North Korean dictatorial regime.
â€œOne young man from Utah is a sad and woeful story. But when you look at the total numberâ€¦â€ Roy Sneddon, Davidâ€™s father, told the Deseret News. â€œPray for the people of North Korea that their lives will change.â€
The Deseret News also reported that the State Department announced Wednesday it has launched an investigation into Sneddonâ€™s disappearance.
The reported investigation came after members of Utahâ€™s congressional delegation asked lawmakers in Washington to probe whether Sneddon had been abducted by North Korea.
The province where Sneddon disappeared is in the far southwest
corner of China, borderingÂ Vietnam, Laos and
Source: Yahoo News JapanÂ /Deseret News