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Former North Korea Captive Speaks in Silence

Robert Park, 43, a missionary who was held in North Korea for approximately three months before being released last February, has not released any statements regarding his detention. It seems the nature of abuse during his detention went beyond the level of torture, and speculation increases as Park’s non-appearance at news conferences continues.

First, his return to his home state Arizona raises a few eyebrows. Park was initially taken to a psychiatric ward, as he was judged to be “gravely disabled,” and at risk of harming those around him. That lasted only a few days, with speculation that he was taken to the hospital against his will, possibly drugged.

Park canceled all his subsequent press conferences. Those who follow the record of human rights violations in North Korea suggests Park may have been subject to sexual abuse. Reports show that sexual torture on both females and males has become prevalent in North Korean prisons.

Jo Sung-Rae, the co-leader with Park of the human rights coalition “Freedom and Life for All North Koreans,” revealed that Park may also have concerns about the safety of his distant relatives who remain in North Korea. Park’s parents, immigrants from South Korea, has relatives in the North.

Find out more in Asia Times Online.

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