As viewers from around the world tune in to watch the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the son of an American professor is spearheading a campaign aimed at highlighting the plight of his father and two other U.S. citizens who are imprisoned in nearby North Korea.
In a recent Facebook video, Sol Kim requested that Olympic viewers stand in solidarity with the three imprisoned Americans by raising three fingers when cheering for an American athlete competing at the games. Kim also proposed that users of social media add the hashtag #USA3 to their posts about the Olympic Games.
“As you gather with your family and friends to watch the Olympics, will you remember my dad?” Kim asked in the video. “My dad was arrested last April in North Korea, and we don’t know what has happened to him. Please help spread the word so that my dad and these other Americans are not forgotten.”
Kim’s father, Tony Kim, 59, also known as Kim Sang Duk, was detained by North Korean authorities at Pyongyang International Airport in April 2017 for alleged “criminal acts of hostility aimed at overturning the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea.” Since then, his family has not heard from him, nor received information regarding his whereabouts.
At the time of his detainment, Kim was teaching at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, Kim and two other Americans who are imprisoned in North Korea on similar charges had engaged in humanitarian work, helping orphanages in the country.
In May, Kim Hak Song, 55, was detained on suspicion of committing “hostile acts” against the North Korean government, Fox News reported. At the time, he was in North Korea working on agricultural development at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology’s agricultural farm.
Businessman Kim Dong Chul, 64, was arrested in October 2015 and sentenced to hard labor for committing “offenses in a scheme to overthrow the socialist system” of North Korea. According to North Korean authorities, he confessed to being a spy for South Korea and trying to spread Christianity in the North.
JOIN US in a sign of solidarity at the Opening Ceremonies and throughout the #Olympics by raising 3 fingers whenever you cheer on our American athletes and by using the hashtag #USA3 throughout the games. pic.twitter.com/fQeMAb1JGu
— Free USA 3 (@freeusathree) February 7, 2018