‘Please bring my dad home’: Family of Americans imprisoned in N. Korea plead for help

‘Please bring my dad home’: Family of Americans imprisoned in N. Korea plead for help
(Source: Free USA 3 Facebook)
(Source: Free USA 3 Facebook)

(WTVM) - There are three Americans detained just miles away from the Olympic stadium and a social media campaign has been created to help bring them home.

"As you gather with your family and friends to watch the Olympics, will you remember my dad Tony Kim?" Sol Kim asked as he shared his dad's story in a YouTube video.

The three Americans being detained in North Korea include:

  • Kim Sangduck (Tony Kim), 59 years old: 
    • He was detained by North Korean authorities at Pyongyang International Airport on April 22, 2017. Kim was in the country to teach at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. Tony also engaged in humanitarian work in the North, helping orphanages in the country’s northeast. In May 2017, Tony Kim is allegedly accused of “committing criminal acts of hostility aimed to overturn the (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).”
  • Kim Dong Chul, 64 years old: 
    •  An American businessman who was taken into custody in North Korea in October 2015. He was accused of committing “offenses in a scheme to overthrow the socialist system of the DPRK,” according to state-run news agency KCNA. In March 2016, North Korean officials allege that Kim confessed to espionage charges. In April 2016, Kim was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor for subversion and espionage.
  • Kim Hak-song, 55 years old:
    •  He was detained in North Korea on May 6, 2017. Kim was “a man who was doing business in relation to the operation of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported. He was detained on suspicion of committing “hostile acts” against the country’s government. Pyongyang University of Science and Technology said Kim was doing agricultural development work with the university’s agricultural farm.

According to the New York Times, North Korea has been accused of holding Americans on what many see as dubious charges in order to use them as diplomatic leverage.

The campaign, "Free USA 3," is asking for people who attend the Olympics to hold up three fingers whenever you cheer on the American athletes to bring awareness of the Americans being held captive.

The Free USA 3 campaign also suggests taking a selfie and holding up three fingers and using the hashtag #USA3.

The video has received hundreds of shares on Facebook.  For more information about Free USA 3 click here. 

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