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 US Army Defectors Jenkins and Dresnok, Tell Their Stories

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CEC
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PostSubject: US Army Defectors Jenkins and Dresnok, Tell Their Stories   Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:08 am

These aren't intended as plugs but I just finished reading "The Reluctant Communist - My Desertion, Court Martial, and Forty-Year Imprisonment in North Korea" by Charles Robert Jenkins, and watching "Crossing the Line" which tells the story of James Joseph Dresnok, and found both stories very interesting.

For those of you who don't know, Jenkins and Dresnok were two of the four US soldiers who deserted their units and crossed over the DMZ to North Korea in the 1960s. The other two soldiers who defected, Larry Allen Abshier and Jerry Wayne Parrish, died in North Korea in 1983 and 1998, respectively.

In 1980, Jenkins married a Japanese abductee, who was allowed to return to Japan in 2002 (she was abducted and taken to North Korea in 1978). He eventually joined her in Japan in late 2004, after turning himself into US military authorities and serving a short jail sentence for his desertion. Dresnok still lives happily (according to him) in North Korea.

Since they were together in the same boat for nearly forty years, one might think Jenkins and Dresnok would have become very close friends during that time but that apparently wasn't the case. The accounts both men tell of some of their experiences and time together in the DPRK, differ quite a bit.
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JIMBIALEK
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PostSubject: Re: US Army Defectors Jenkins and Dresnok, Tell Their Stories   Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:31 am

Yes, I remember watching a story about them somewhere ... youtube maybe. If I recall, not only were they not friends but they did not like each other at all. Dresnok loved everything about the DPRK(of course the regime keeps him well provided for), is treated like a celebrity in public, has acted in anti-US movies, and he spends his remaining time fishing. Ahh, the comfort of a state sponsered life.
I'll have to put that book on my to read list.
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Dear Leader
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PostSubject: Re: US Army Defectors Jenkins and Dresnok, Tell Their Stories   Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:27 am

I have part of that story saved to the YouTube favorites.
Some thoughtful insight from Joe Dresnok: "The Dear Leader knows me, and he takes care of me. Great man."
Kind of tells everything we need to know about ex-GI Joe.
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catcher22
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PostSubject: Re: US Army Defectors Jenkins and Dresnok, Tell Their Stories   Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:55 pm

James Joseph Dresnok doesn't exactly seem like he's a rocket scientist. At least the other guy had sense enough to leave when he could. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/20/60minutes/main959455.shtml
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CEC
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PostSubject: Re: US Army Defectors Jenkins and Dresnok, Tell Their Stories   Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:50 pm

Dresnok's really got no choice but to "like" his life in North Korea.
Jenkins was very lucky to have married Hitomi Soga. If it weren't for her being allowed to return to Japan, which is what caused the Japanese government to push for Jenkins' release as well, he'd still be living in North Korea with no foreseeable way out.
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JIMBIALEK
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PostSubject: Re: US Army Defectors Jenkins and Dresnok, Tell Their Stories   Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:06 am

CEC wrote:
Dresnok's really got no choice but to "like" his life in North Korea.
.
Yeah, good point. Otherwise he would be turned into a pariah by the regime and loose his comfortable life. Jenkins is very fortunate, although he seems somewhat down about wasting decades of his life in NK. At least he got a Japanese wife and family out of it.
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PostSubject: Re: US Army Defectors Jenkins and Dresnok, Tell Their Stories   Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:39 am

The only UK POW to refuse repatriation was Marine Andrew Condron who seemed to have stayed out of a sense of curiosity rather than ideology. By all accounts he was one of the awkward squad in the marines and was the same with his captors, none of his fellow prisoners suggested he collaborated at all. Condron returned to the UK in (I think) the early sixties.
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PostSubject: Re: US Army Defectors Jenkins and Dresnok, Tell Their Stories   Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:21 am

Marshall Peng wrote:
The only UK POW to refuse repatriation was Marine Andrew Condron who seemed to have stayed out of a sense of curiosity rather than ideology. By all accounts he was one of the awkward squad in the marines and was the same with his captors, none of his fellow prisoners suggested he collaborated at all. Condron returned to the UK in (I think) the early sixties.
Wikipedia says he returned in 1960 and faced no disciplinary action.
A few people who knew him after he returned talk about him here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/notesandqueries/query/0,5753,-1070,00.html
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