December 07, 2023

Prisoner number 429: Kim Dong-chul’s three-year detention in North Korea

Former detainee details how he went from businessman to spying for the U.S. and South Korea

“Number 429, you're destined to live a long life,” the South Korean-born American Kim Dong-chul was told by guards when he woke up on the ground in freezing water two days after being poisoned by briquette gas in a North Korean prison.

“If I had already died in North Korea, I would not have to remember," Kim, who was released last year, said in an interview with NK News in Seoul this month.