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The university professor is being held along with Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old graduate of Wyoming High School near Cincinnati and a student at the University of Virginia. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor on charges related to the removal of a political sign.
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The third is Kim Dong Chul, the president of a company involved in international trade and hotel services. A South Korean native who lived in Virginia, he is serving 10 years on espionage charges.
Here are three things we learned when North Korea detained Fowle:
-If Fowle's experience is any indication, Kim will likely face long periods of isolation. Fowle said he was detained in early May 2014, a few days after leaving a Bible in a nightclub.
RELATED: Fowle released from North Korea
Upon being taken into custody, the Beavercreek High School graduate said knew he was in “deep trouble.” What followed was nearly six months of isolation for at least 23 hours each day in a hotel, what he called the “worst part of the whole experience.” Until his final day of captivity, “I didn’t understand most of what was going on.”
-If he is released, it would follow a complicated process. North Korea has a history of imprisoning detainees, as the sentences of Warmbier and Chul demonstrate. In fact, Fowle's status was in doubt for months and there was talk that he would face years in prison.
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Any chance of release would likely include negotiations, envoys, and intervention the Swedish Embassy, which represents U.S. interests in North Korea. It would also involve the U.S. State Department and the White House.
Fowle’s release came at least two months after former U.S. Rep. and ambassador Tony Hall met with a North Korean diplomat. Fowle’s family also wrote letters to President Obama and former Presidents Carter, George W. Bush and Clinton.
-A low profile can help. Friends and relatives saying little or nothing publicly in the U.S. can help detainees in North Korea, some experts said.
RELATED: Family of local detainee kept low profile
North Korea can use those who are detained as bargaining chips, trying to get attention and trying to get the U.S. to negotiate directly with their government.
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