David Sneddon disappeared in China while hiking in 2004, but new reports claim he is living in North Korea
Having been presumed dead for more than 12 years, a US citizen is believed to have been seen alive in North Korea where he is acting as the personal tutor of despot Kim Jong-un.
David Sneddon, a student at the Brigham Young University in Utah, was last heard from when he went hiking during an exchange programme in China, but disappeared shortly afterwards and was thought to have died in an accident.
But now reports claim that Sneddon is alive and living in the North Korean capital Pyongyang, where he works as an English tutor to Kim Jong-un and has a wife and children.
Choi Sung-yong, head of South Korea’s Abductees’ Family Union, said that new information suggests that Sneddon did not die in China in 2004, with Yahoo News Japan reporting the now 36-year-old was taken by North Korean agents to teach Kim.
At the time of his disappearance, Sneddon was known to be a fluent Korean speaker, and his parents, Roy and Kathleen Sneddon, have long insisted that he was the victim of a kidnapping.
The pair said that the new reports from a handful of Asian news services about their son’s whereabouts “strengthens the contention that what we have said from the beginning about David being in North Korea was, in fact, correct”.
But Sneddon’s parents also said that they were taking the reports with a grain of salt. Kathleen Sneddon, a former university professor, said: “Part of the article may be correct and part of it may be conjecture... we just don’t know.”