Korean American Detainee Freed From North Korea Hands VP Note With Psalm 126 Written on Back

Photo Credit: VP Mike Pence/Twitter

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. — One of the three men who were freed from North Korea this week and returned home to America with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo handed Vice President Mike Pence a note that contained text from Psalm 126 on the back.

Pence shared a photo of the Scripture, written on a lined index card, to Twitter on Thursday.

“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy,” it read.

The men touched down at Andrews Air Force Base just before 3 a.m. on Thursday and exited the plane with smiles and waves. They were greeted by President Trump and Vice President Pence and their wives.

“We would like to express our deep appreciation to the United States government, President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the people of the United States for bringing us home. We thank God, and all our families and friends who prayed for us and for our return,” the three said in an official statement released by the U.S. Department of State.

As previously reported, among the detainees was Kim Dong-chul, a pastor from Fairfax, Virginia who had been working in the country to help the poor. Dong-chul had traveled to various states to raise funds for his humanitarian work, speaking at various churches in New York, California and Washington, D.C., as he focused on delivering medical supplies to the needy.

He was arrested in 2015 on suspicion of spying for the South Koreans, and was sentenced the following year to 10 years hard labor.

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Kim Hak-song, who is stated to be a pastor affiliated with the Oriental Mission Church in Los Angeles, had been held for the past year for engaging in alleged “hostile acts” against the North Korean government. He had been working in the agricultural department at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

Kim Sang-duk, also known as Tony Kim, had likewise been detained since 2017 after being accused of “criminal acts of hostility” toward the North Koreans. He similarly taught at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a school that was reportedly founded by Christians.

One of the men had reportedly asked to go outside when the plane stopped to refuel in Alaska as they had not seen the light of day for a long time.

North Korea has been known as one of the most difficult places to live as a Christian, and has been listed at the top of Open Doors USA’s “World Watch List” for 16 years in a row.

“The North Korean regime reviles Christianity and considers it the biggest threat among religions; the regime associates Christianity with the West, particularly the United States,” a report recently released by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) also outlined.

“Through robust surveillance, the regime actively tries to identify and seek out Christians practicing their faith in secret and imprisons those it apprehends, often along with their family members even if they are not similarly religious.”


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  • HpO

    Everyone here knows, though, right? – that KIM DONG-CHUL IS A REAL SPY.

    According to Tim Schwarz, Will Ripley and James Griffiths, “Exclusive: North Korea reveals alleged U.S. prisoner to CNN in Pyongyang”, CNN, January 11, 2016:

    “Kim Dong-chul … commuted daily to Rason, a special economic zone on the North Korean side of the border, where he served as president of a company involved in international trade and hotel services. ACCORDING TO KIM [HIMSELF], he spied on behalf of ‘South Korean conservative elements,’ for which he was arrested in October 2015. ‘I was tasked with taking photos of military secrets and “scandalous” scenes,”‘ he said. … A number of South Koreans ‘asked me to help destroy the (North Korean) system and spread propaganda against the government.’ … ACCORDING TO KIM [HIMSELF], … he started working as a spy in April 2013, bribing local residents to ‘gather important materials,’ which he smuggled into China or South Korea. … Kim was arrested in October 2015 while he was meeting a source to obtain a USB stick and camera used to gather military secrets. The source, a 35-year-old former North Korean soldier, was also arrested. Kim said he did not know the other man’s fate.”

  • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    All 3 men are Christians and have been on prayer lists since their arrests. Thank God they are home now!

    • ♥LadyInChrist♥InGodITrust♥

      Amen! Praise God!

      • WorldGoneCrazy-NotMurderedYet

        Happy Mother’s Day, LadyInChrist!

        • ♥LadyInChrist♥InGodITrust♥

          Thank you WorldGoneCrazy!

    • HpO

      Whose words would you believe about Kim Dong Chul, though – his or somebody else’s?

      According to Reuters, January 12, 2016, “Korean-American detained in North Korea was pastor: defector
      Ju-min Park”:

      “[As] reported on Monday from North Korea … Kim Dong Chul … told CNN he had spied on behalf of ‘South Korean conservative elements’ and had been arrested in October [2015]. … [However] a North Korean defector, Ma Young-ae, told Reuters on Tuesday … by telephone, recall[ed] Kim making speeches around California and Virginia in 2007 and seeking donations. … ‘He told the churches that he was a missionary working on North Korea and sending stuff from China into the North to help poor North Koreans’. … Ma, who is working as a missionary based in the New York area under what she said was security protection, described Kim as a Korean-American.”

      • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Why don’t you post everything in its entirety?

        • HpO

          Because if I do that, my question – Whose words would you believe about Kim Dong Chul, though – his or somebody else’s? – would get lost in the translation.

          It’s called Critical News Reading with Breakfast Everyday, “my friend”. Try it sometimes.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Why don’t you post his words in their entirety and in context?

          • HpO

            “Context”? Seriously?

            THIS is the “context”, which I posted yesterday before you: Tim Schwarz, Will Ripley and James Griffiths, “Exclusive: North Korea reveals alleged U.S. prisoner to CNN in Pyongyang”, CNN, January 11, 2016.

            Which “context”, however, Reuters obfuscated / obliterated just one day after CNN’s breaking news & interview. WHY? Answer me.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Why don’t you quote it in its entirety? Why don’t you quote it in context of today? You know why? Because you can’t. It condemns what you’re claiming.

          • HpO

            Prove it.

            I furnished proofs, so now’s your turn.

            Oh and uh there’s one outstanding question you haven’t answered, in dealing with the CNN versus Reuters side of the story.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You didn’t prove anything. You took a portion of something and deceptively made an inference.

          • HpO

            You know you can’t do it, but go ahead and try anyway: Cross-examine and debunk the following words of confession by Kim Dong Chul in that CNN Exclusive dating January 11, 2016 – none of which “had been rehearsed or pre-scripted, Kim said”, and all of which “was later independently corroborated by CNN.”

            (1) “[On behalf of ‘South Korean conservative elements, … I was tasked with taking photos of [North Korea’s] military secrets and ‘scandalous’ scenes”.

            (2) “Inject[ing] me with a hatred towards North Korea … they asked me to help destroy the (North Korean) system and spread propaganda against the government.”

            (3) “[From local residents I did] gather important materials”.

            (4) “[What I did] wasn’t about the money.”

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You are quoting propaganda.

      • Susan Perelka

        CNN lies, not listening to them because they have proven to be untrustworthy many times. I don’t listen to people who have no integrity. Maybe, they should read the tale “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, they have cried wolf way too many times.

        • HpO

          So “CNN lie[d]” on January 11, 2016 about Kim Dong Chul, whom they met; but Reuters didn’t do that a day later on January 12, 2016 about Kim Dong Chul, whom they never met. Nor did Reuters meet the counter-storyteller, Ma Young-ae. It was by dumb phone rather that they heard her say stuffs about Kim Dong Chul to contradict what Kim said to CNN. So this is your approach to truth? Have it your way; who cares.

          • Susan Perelka

            Why are you here really? To start arguments? Why not instead try and bring unity instead of division. I don’t listen to CNN because they have been caught in many lies. They have lost my respect because of their actions. Actions have consequences, good and bad. If you want to listen to them, go ahead, we live in a free nation. I simply choose not to. So, can we respectfully disagree? If you are just here to fight, then I am not interested. God bless you.

          • HpO

            Breaking news for me was Bethany Blankley’s “Two of the three freed Korean Americans are evangelical Christians”, Hedgerow, May 9, 2018. So when Christian News Network’s article came out, I wanna know further about the “[One] of the three freed Korean Americans [who’s NOT an] evangelical”.

            You OK with that?

  • Susan Perelka

    Brothers in Christ, glad to have you home, may Gods peace and grace rest upon you. God is not dead, God is good, God hears the cries of His people, and we PRAISE GOD! Thank You LORD! Thank You for Jesus!

  • Susan Perelka

    Again, thank You Jesus for their safe return.

  • Chet

    Such comes from the heart of one who is grateful, which, sadly, far too many Americans and even Christians are not. Remember the ten healed of leprosy…