North Korea Frees NYU Student Detained Since April

Joo Won-moon after his reported release. Photo: South Korean Unification Ministry

A 21-year-old NYU student is safe in South Korea after being held in North Korea for more than five months. According to the Times, Joo Won-moon was handed over to South Korean officials at a border town Monday afternoon. Won-moon, who is a citizen of South Korea and a U.S. permanent resident, was apparently taking a break from his senior-year studies at NYU’s Stern School of Business when, while traveling, he crossed over into North Korea from China and was arrested April 22 by North Korean soldiers. He told CNN shortly after his detainment that he knew his actions were illegal but thought “some great event could happen and hopefully that event could have a good effect on the relations” between North and South Korea. Won-moon will also be investigated by South Korean officials for potentially violating a law that prohibits its nationals from visiting its northern neighbor without permission. 

North Korea Frees NYU Student