UCR alumnus Tony Kim, 59, was among three U.S. citizens who returned on Wednesday, May 9 after being being imprisoned in North Korea during April 2017.
Kim was detained at Pyongyang airport on April 22 of last year after being accused of committing what reports claim were “criminal acts of hostility aimed to overturn” North Korea. However, the release did not specify what crimes the three individuals actually committed. Kim’s family had started a social media campaign over the last year to push for their releases.
Kim graduated from UCR in 1990 with his MBA, and according to his family, was teaching accounting at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a university that is privately funded by Christian groups. He previously taught at Yanbian University near the North Korean border in Yanji, China. However, the cause of his detainment was not related to any of his activity in Pyongyang, and while he has yet to speak to the press, his family has done so, thanking President Donald Trump for his engagement with North Korea in helping bring Kim back.
Donald Trump has announced a summit with North Korean leaders to take place on June 12th in Singapore, where leaders of both North Korea and South Korea will discuss methods of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.