US

Last US soldier living in North Korea dead

Washington: James Dresnok, the last known US soldier living in North Korea, died of a stroke aged 74 late last year, his sons have confirmed, the media reported.

Dresnok defected to North Korea in 1962 across the heavily fortified demilitarised zone (DMZ) that divides the totalitarian country from South Korea, reports CNN.

Once in North Korea Dresnok was often used for propaganda purposes. He even appeared as an American villain in North Korean movies.

“My father lived in the arms of North Korea until the time of his death,” Ted Dresnok said in a video was posted on Pyongyang’s state-run Uriminzokkiri website on Monday.

“I have no other regrets except him (not) living longer to receive love and care from the party. My father had a truly happy life in the arms of the nation,” said Dresnok’s other son, James.

Both men wearing military uniforms spoke in fluent Korea.

It was unclear when the video was made, or whether the two men appeared under duress, CNN reported.

The Dresnok sons, believed to be in their 30s, appeared in another video last year, blaming “American imperialism” for tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Dresnok explained his decision to defect in a 2006 documentary, “Crossing the Line”.

He told British filmmakers Daniel Gordon and Nick Bonner that when he defected, he was divorced and serving on DMZ stakeout posts. He also was about to be court-martialed for forging his sergeant’s signature to go see a woman.

Dresnok was among a handful of US soldiers who defected to North Korea. By the time the documentary was released, he was the only American defector left in the country.

(With IANS inputs)

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