PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — A former Mormon missionary from Utah who disappeared in China 12 years ago was abducted by North Korea and forced to serve as Kim Jong Un’s personal English tutor, according to reports.

David Sneddon now works as an English teacher in Pyongyang, is married to a North Korean woman and has two children, according to South Korea’s Abductees’ Family Union.

The startling claims were made by the union’s president, the Daily Telegraph reported, citing a report by Yahoo News Japan.

Sneddon, then aged 24, was last seen hiking in the Tiger Leaping Gorge in China’s Yunnan province in 2004. He was in the country to study Mandarin. Sneddon was already fluent in Korean, which he learned during a Mormon mission to South Korea.

According to Chinese authorities, Sneddon likely died in a hiking accident, but his family back in Utah aren’t buying that explanation. They believe the revelations that he was abducted and taken to North Korea.

Yunnan province is along the path of a so-called underground railroad used by North Korean refugees to escape to third countries. North Korean agents are believed to operate in the area with China’s blessing, according to a website set up by the Sneddon family to help find their son.
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