South Korean national Won-Moon Joo of New Jersey wanted to be the straw that stirred Korea’s political commentary so he swam across a river and traversed barbed-wire fence to sneak into ultra-secretive North Korea with the intent of getting caught. He accomplished his goal.
Here is what we know about Won-Moon Joo:
1. The North Korean Military Arrested Joo on April 22
North Korea didn’t announce Joo’s capture until May 2. The New York Times reported that state-controlled Korean Central News Agency said Joo crossed the Yalu River from China “without authorization.” South Korea called on Pyongyang to release Joo and all other political prisoners immediately.
2. He is a Business Student at NYU
3. University Says He Took This Semester Off
NYU spokesman John Beckman told the Times in an email that a Won-Moon Joo was enrolled at the Stern School Business. “He is not taking classes this semester, and the university was unaware of his travels.”
4. Koreans Flocked to Social Media After His Stunt
It may be hard to read this unless you speak the language but Koreans have been lighting up the blogosphere after Joo’s capture.
— Jaehwan Cho 조재환 (@hohocho) May 5, 2015
5. He Told CNN ‘I’m Fine and Well’
If recent history is an indication, Joo should be released just as Americans Kennth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller were last November after North Korea detained them on “anti-state” charges.
Joo told his family through CNN that he’s “well” and that there’s “no need to worry.”
Won-Moon Joo is trippin lol
— Pervy Sage #$$ (@ANMLRT) May 5, 2015