El Paso Man Sneaks Into North Korea Illegally
An El Paso man says he crossed illegally into North Korea, but he has not been arrested, and he wants asylum in Venezuela.
29 year old Arturo Pierre Martinez held a news conference todayand told his tale of crossing a river border with China to get into North Korea. During the news conference, he criticized the U.S. for alleged human rights violations.
Patricia Eugenia Martinez, Arturo's mother, spoke to CNN an said he is bipolar and this isn't the first time he's tried to get into North Korea. He swam across a river, but authorities stopped him and sent him back to the U.S. where he spent time in a California psychiatric hospital. Patricia says he managed to convince a judge to let him out of the hospital. Instead of coming back home to El Paso, however, he took out a payday loan, and bought a ticket for China.
Arturo's press conference was held at the People's Palace of Culture, a site commonly used by North Korean authorities for press conferences where they present North Korean defectors who have returned to North Korea.
In recent days, North Korea has been protesting a United Nations resolution that could lead to crimes against humanity charges for the country's leaders. Some in the international community think Martinez was presented to the media for propaganda purposes to make them look better to the United Nations.
It's not known if Martinez is free to leave North Korea, but his mother says she believes he will be set free soon.