As the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, dominate news coming from the Korean peninsula, the son of an American professor is asking the world not to forget the plight of his father and two other U.S. citizens who are imprisoned in North Korea.
Sol Kim asks in a recent Facebook video that Olympic viewers stand in solidarity with the three imprisoned Americans by raising three fingers whenever cheering for an American athlete at the games. He also suggests that social media users add the hashtag #USA3 to any posts about the Olympic Games.
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
"As you gather with your family and friends to watch the Olympics, will you remember my dad?" Kim asks 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 says.
North Korean authorities detained Kim's father, Tony Kim, also known as Kim Sang Duk, 59, at Pyongyang International Airport in April 2017 for alleged "criminal acts of hostility aimed at overturning the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea."
Kim was teaching at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology at the time of his detainment. Since then, he has had no contact with his family.
Kim—who had engaged in humanitarian work in the North, helping orphanages, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap—joined two other Americans, Kim Hak Song and Kim Dong Chul, who also are imprisoned in North Korea on similarly vague charges.
Kim Hak Song, 55, was detained in May on suspicion of committing "hostile acts" against the North Korean government, Fox News reported. He was in the country doing agricultural development work at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology's agricultural farm.
Kim Dong Chul, 64, a businessman, was first arrested in October 2015 and later sentenced to hard labor for committing "offenses in a scheme to overthrow the socialist system" of North Korea. North Korean authorities claim that he publicly confessed to spying for South Korea and trying to spread Christianity in the North.
All three Americans are imprisoned just miles from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.