Is Matthew Todd Miller a martyr for freedom, an unhinged young man from Bakersfield, California, or a bargaining chip for the crazed North Korean regime to use in its upcoming nuclear tests? It is hard to glean much information aside from the Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, official news releases, especially given Reporters Without Borders ranks the Stalinist state at or near the bottom of it’s world rankings for press freedom. So their declaration that Miller tore up his tourist visa upon entering the country has to be treated, as with all their other press releases, with caution to say the least. Unfortunately, that bit of news might be at least partly true. Miller has recently spent several years in South Korea where one of his brothers is stationed with the Air Force, and he taught English and learned Korean apparently. Did he conceive of a crazed mission to reveal to the world how repressive a regime North Korea is? In a closely monitored interview with APTV he stated that he has received no response from the State Department who have investigated his situation since his April detention.

Does that mean he is indeed a bargaining chip and Foggy Bottom are negotiating behind the scenes? Negotiating, it must be added, with what is the world’s most unpredictable government, to put it politely. North Korea is capable of kidnapping people from neighboring countries like Japan and it may very well be Miller merely entered the country and was arrested. Or maybe not. His family is pleading privacy which is understandable, but one wonders if the bright and shy youngest son of two petroleum engineers is a little eccentric. If he indeed did rip up his tourist visa in some deranged quest, then Matthew Todd Miller has made the USA’s position in the Korean peninsula that much more difficult. Everything diplomatically feasible must and is being done to release him but he is in the confines of a horrifyingly repressive state and his outcome is uncertain. Because America values freedom, people like Matthew Todd Miller can travel to North Korea and expect that their government will aid them if they are placed in jeopardy. One hopes that the young man from Bakersfield will be grateful for the aid and support he receives when he does get released. Unfortunately, any possible outcome in his case is highly uncertain. If you cross the border into North Korea, you have to know you are entering an extremely dangerous country that can and will arrest you at the drop of a hat, and certainly at the tearing up of a tourist visa card.


  • quasimoto63

    Matthew Miller sure is cute, I can say that for sure.