An Unwitting Target - David, a Brigham Young University student, served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Seoul, Korea prior to his disappearance while in Shangri-la, Yunnan, PRC. He was also employed at the time by MultiLing, an international language translation firm based in Provo, Utah, U.S.A. The previous summer David worked for MultiLing in Seoul doing research to prepare for MultiLing’s future Seoul Korea office.
While completing his study of Mandarin in Beijing, PRC during the summer of 2004 he briefly taught Korean language to children of a Chinese family. A former Seoul missionary companion also stayed with David in Beijing for 3-5 days awaiting a return flight to the U.S.A.
The former companion, then a student at Duke University, was studying the problems of refugees exiting from North Korea into northern China. He was asked to leave PRC after requesting a visa to go into DPRK. Did these associations make David suspect? David’s family think that they did. Their thesis is that these associations suggested to the PRC and DPRK that David was participating in the underground railroad moving North Korean refugees across China. Others have suggested a far more sinister motive, namely, state sponsored abduction for geo-political purposes including espionage. Does David’s disappearance fit the DPRK’s known pattern of abduction [Summary of Events Surrounding David Sneddon's Disappearance ] ?
Is there evidence of David’s abduction in Yunnan, PRC ? – A report from a Japanese group, The Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea, was presented to Deputy Secretary Nides of the US State Department during their visit to Washington D.C. [ American-Abducted-Too]. The Japanese association received the report from a trusted Chinese source in the PRC. This Japanese report [Chinese Informant Reports Abduction of an American] parallels in many respects the information known and surmised about David’s disappearance.
The Voice of America broadcasting into Pyongyang, DPRK from Seoul, Korea expressed this same question in a piece produced by Steve Herman and aired May 11, 2012 [Voice of America Broadcast into N.K. May 11, 2012].
What was the official reaction of DPRK to allegations of their abduction of an American citizen? – As a reader of the English translation of DPRK’s florid denials originally expressed in Korean, you may be surprised [DPRK-Respone-to-Claim-of-Abduction ]. Such language brings to mind an American expression originated by sportsmen hunting game birds such as quail, pheasants, and ducks, namely, “Hit birds flutter”.
Was David abducted by agents of the DPRK with complicity by Chinese local police in Yunnan? – For the present, you must be the judge! The Sneddon family believes that David was abducted by agents working for the DPRK.