A U.S. citizen who illegally entered North Korea delivers a denunciation of U.S. domestic and foreign policy, the DPRK's official media says. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) An American citizen who has illegally entered North Korea held a news conference in Pyongyang on Sunday (December 14) to deliver a lengthy denunciation of U.S. domestic and foreign policy and is seeking political asylum in Venezuela, the North's official media said. In video provided to Reuters by the North's official news agency KCNA, which cannot be independently verified, it showed the man, who identified himself as Arturo Pierre Martinez, speaking at a news conference at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang on Sunday. "My name is Arturo Pierre Martinez. I'm a 29-year-old U.S. citizen born and bred in the city of El Paso, in the state of Texas. I have taken up a risky journey to the DPRK so that I can pass on some very valuable and disturbing information I felt that its government would appreciate," Martinez said. Martinez spoke of human rights violations committed by the U.S. government and its attempts at forcing imperialist influence and domination on other countries, KCNA said. His mother told CNN her son was mentally unstable and has bipolar disorder, and had previously tried to enter North Korea from the South by swimming across a river. He was captured and sent back to the United States where he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in California, she said, according to CNN. In September, South Korean media reported that a man in his late 20s had been arrested by South Korean marines for swimming in a river that flows towards North Korea. The man had been trying to get to the North to meet its leader, local media reported at the time. Martinez said that he had been staying in a nice hotel and was treated in a humanitarian way by the North Korean government and that he would seek political asylum in Venezuela, KCNA reported. Martinez said he chose to come to North Korea to talk about U.S. policy because it ha successfully defied U.S. influence by maintaining a "very powerful military." "I've chosen the Democratic People's Republic of Korea only due to its mostly socialistic way. And due to its very powerful military that it's continued to defy Americans and pluralistic power and influence throughout its history. I felt it's going to be best fit to safely pass on all the information that I've provided, not only to itself but to the world, so that people may hear my words and see what I have to say. After my stay in the DPRK I plan on seeking asylum in the country of Venezuela," Martinez added. It was not immediately clear how Martinez entered North Korea. CNN said a North Korean statement it has seen said Martinez entered the country two days after U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper arrived in Pyongyang to negotiate the release of detained Americans Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae. Miller and Bae had both been serving hard labour sentences in North Korea for breaking local laws, but were released in November during Clapper's visit. A third detained U.S. citizen, Jeffrey Fowle, was released in October.