Prisoner number 429: Kim Dong-chul's three-year detention in North Korea | NK News
June 14, 2024

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.

Become a member for less than $4 per week.

  • Unlimited access to all of NK News: reporting, investigations, analysis
  • The NK News Daily Update, an email newsletter to keep you in the loop
  • Searchable archive of all content, photo galleries, special columns
  • Contact NK News reporters with tips or requests for reporting
Get unlimited access to all NK News content, including original reporting, investigations, and analyses by our team of DPRK experts.
Subscribe now

All major cards accepted. No commitments – you can cancel any time.