United States defector to North Korea dies, aged 74

Cornelia Mascio
Agosto 22, 2017

The only USA soldier known still to be living in North Korea after defecting more than five decades ago died past year pledging loyalty to the "great leader Kim Jong Un", his sons said.

Brown-haired and hazel-eyed, he wore a Korean People's Army uniform in the video, like his brother, adorned with a badge depicting the North's founder Kim Il Sung and his son and successor Kim Jong Il. But now James "Joe" Dresnok, a USA soldier who defected after fighting in the Korean War, is dead, reports the Guardian.

Dresnok pledged his loyalty to the "great leader Kim Jong-un", his sons Ted and James Dresnok said in a video interview posted on the state-run Uriminzokkiri website.

Ted Dresnok cautioned that the "U.S. imperialists" were raising "war hysteria madness", claiming that Americans are knowledgeable about neither North Korea's military nor its people.

"Our father was in the arms of the republic and received the love and care of the party until his passing at age 74", said Mr Ted Dresnok, the older of the two.

The late James Dresnok, known as Joe, was 21, newly divorced and reportedly facing a court martial when he made his way through the minefields that litter the DMZ to reach North Korea.

The Dresnok sons, believed to be in their 30s, appeared in another video past year, blaming "American imperialism" for tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Dresnok explained his decision to defect in a 2006 documentary, "Crossing the Line". He also was about to be court-martialed for forging his sergeant's signature to go see a woman.

U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheted up the rhetoric by saying the U.S. would bring "fire and fury" upon North Korea if it didn't stand down.

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