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North Korea To Release Detained NYU Student, S. Korea Says

A screen grab from Joo Won-moon's interview with CNN from Pyongyang in May.
A screen grab from Joo Won-moon's interview with CNN from Pyongyang in May.

North Korea is expected to return a New York University student and South Korean national who has been detained since April.

21-year-old Joo Won-moon has been in North Korean custody after he crossed the border into North Korea, hoping to help strengthen ties between the two Koreas.

"I thought some great event could happen and hopefully that event could have a good effect in the relationship between the North and the South," Joo told CNN in an interview in May.


He is expected to be dropped off in the border village of Panmunjom at 5:30 p.m. local time Monday, according to South Korea's Unification Ministry.

Joo said in North Korean televised press conferences that he hiked and crawled through two barbed wire fences to get into the rogue dictatorship, after which he was arrested by North Korean soldiers.

"I've been fed well, and I've slept well and I've been very healthy," he told CNN.

Joo, who has permanent residency in the United States, is the fourth known South Korean national to be held by the North. Two other South Koreans arrested in December 2014 are being held on charges of spying, charges which Seoul calls "groundless."

NYU confirmed following Joo's arrest that he was a student at the Stern School of Business but not enrolled in classes during the spring semester.


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