A while back, we decided to keep track of the odd collection of naïfs and genuine humanitarians who have been detained by North Korea; a full list is posted below. Virtually all of them ran afoul of North Korea in some way. Not Arturo Pierre Martinez, who appeared to want to defect to North Korea and was willing to give a press conference in doing so. As noted in our original post, the fact that North Korea gave Martinez a platform is itself revealing of how incapable the regime is of distinguishing fact and fiction. About halfway through his press conference, Martinez took up the issues of an American-run UFO (not drone) program, “weaponized satillital Octocopters” used for official drug-running and “infrasonic generators,” some incorporating X-ray and nano-technology that have been used to implant thoughts and voices in US citizens and given cancer to five South American heads of state.
Justin Rohrlich at NKNews has broken the story that Martinez has in fact been back in the US for over a year, tracking him down at his home in Texas. We will leave the details of his return to Rohrlich’s coverage, replete with his claim that he may now be seeking asylum in Venezuela.
But unfortunately we do not draw any positive conclusions for Otto Warmbier. Martinez was seen as a friend of North Korea and appeared to be under a kind of loose house arrest, but in a hotel. Warmbier’s effort to steal a banner was portrayed as sabotage and he has been tried and sentenced. Martinez was allowed to quietly slip out of the country as his propaganda value—such as it was—depreciated. Warmbier is likely to take greater diplomatic effort to release, effort as we always point out that could be much better spent attending to the public’s business.
Previous Posts on the Detainees
- Detainees and Envoys (April 2013; on the possible North Korean motive of securing visits by high level envoys)
- Detained Americans: Not-So-Innocents Abroad (September 2013; brief outlines of the American detainees)
- Merrill Newman “Confesses” (November 2013)
- Why is Kenneth Bae Treated More Harshly than John Short? (March 2014)
- Miller Matthew Todd (April 2014; how Miller’s name was initially reported by KCNA)
- State Department Travel Advisory Update (June 2014)
- Slave to the Blog: Abductions and Detainees Edition (June 2014; Fowle detention)
- Detainee Update and Canadians in Dandong (early August 2014 stories on the three Americans and the sweep against Christians along the Chinese side of the border)
- The Release of Jeffrey Fowle (October 2014)
- Bae and Miller Released, The Excellent Adventures of Matthew Todd Miller and James Clapperand The Hostage Rorschach Test (November 2014)
- Arturo Pierre Mendez
- Mike Chinoy on Merrill Newman
- Kim Kuk-ki and Choe Chun-gil (March 2015)
- Detainee Fatigue: Won-Moon Joo (June 2015)
- Hyeon Soo Lim Update (August 2015)
- The Release of Won-Moon Joo (October 2015)
- State Department Travel Advisory Update (November 2015)
- Life Sentence for Hyeon Soo Lim (December 2015)
- Otto Warmbier and Kim Dong Chul (January 2015)
- Detainee Update: Otto Wambier and Otto Wamrbier: 15 Years (March 2016)