Local expert addresses the taking of local man in N. Korea

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – 2 NEWS is asking questions of local experts about the situation in North Korea where a Miamisburg man is being detained for having a Bible in his hotel room.

University of Dayton political science and human rights expert Tony Talbott talked about what Jeffrey Fowle is going through right now.

Officials detained Fowle after they say he left a Bible in a hotel where he was staying.

Talbott tells me North Korea sees Christianity as a form of Western influence and potentially a form of Western conspiracy, to undermine the thought control of their own citizens.

He says in North Korea, there are no real human rights, no freedom of media, no freedom of expression, no freedom of religion.

Talbott says Fowle was allowed to have a Bible with him as a foreign national, but he couldn’t share it with anyone.

By leaving the Bible in the hotel room, North Korea officials see that as an attempt to spread Christianity which is illegal in North Korea, but Talbott has a word of advice for others thinking about traveling to North Korea.

“This is one of the most brutal dictatorships on the planet, a true totalitarian regime, horrible human rights violation, they do nuclear tests, they threaten all of their neighbors. I probably would not, maybe being a tourist there is probably not the best idea. Not just for personal danger-wise, but then your legitimating supporting a brutal regime that’s violating human rights and is incredibly anti-democratic , against everything that American stands for,” said Tony Talbott, University of Dayton.

Talbott says usually in these types of situations, the person must make some kind of apology, usually a written confession and then will be kicked out of North Korea.

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