(Senate - November 29, 2018)

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[Pages S7246-S7247]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to the consideration of Calendar No. 309, S. Res. 92.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the bill by title.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 92) expressing concern over the 
     disappearance of David Sneddon, and for other purposes.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There being no objection, the Senate proceeded 
to consider the resolution, which had been reported from the Committee 
on Foreign Relations.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, David Sneddon was a 24-year-old Brigham Young 
University student who tragically vanished while traveling in the 
Yunnan Province of China in August of 2004. After a cursory 
investigation, Chinese officials concluded that David must have died 
while hiking alone through Tiger Leaping Gorge, but the officials' 
story didn't add up.

[[Page S7247]]

  For starters, David was an avid and experienced hiker, unlikely to 
make a mistake that would have led to his death on the trail. Over 14 
years later, a body has never been found. David's family retraced his 
steps and found eyewitnesses that both interacted with him on the trail 
and saw him in a Chinese city at the end of the hiking route, 
suggesting that he made it safely through the other side of the gorge.
  In fact, there is much evidence to suggest that the North Korean 
government was responsible for David's disappearance.
  For starters, he was traveling near the so-called Asian Underground 
Railroad, a network of mostly Christian missionaries who help North 
Korean defectors flee to safety. North Korean agents are known to 
operate along the route, ruthlessly hunting down defectors and 
returning them to execution or permanent captivity on the gulag 
peninsula of North Korea.
  Second, David was last seen leaving a Korean restaurant. Korean 
restaurants are reportedly used as outposts for North Korean espionage 
and illicit enterprise.
  Finally, and perhaps most tellingly, 1 month before David's 
disappearance, North Korea took the rare step of releasing an American 
captive, 64-year-old Charles Jenkins. North Korea forced Jenkins to 
teach English to its spies at a military university during his almost 
40-year captivity. After his release, the regime would have needed a 
substitute teacher.
  David Sneddon, unfortunately, would perfectly fit the bill. A highly 
educated Asian languages major, he spoke fluent Korean and was learning 
  Subsequent intelligence from inside North Korea has strongly 
supported these facts. David Sneddon was taken by the North Korean 
regime in 2004. He likely has been held captive in that country ever 
  I, along with my colleagues Senators Hatch, Coons, Fischer, Sasse, 
Rubio, Flake, Gardner, and Sullivan have introduced a resolution 
expressing our grave concern about the disappearance of David Sneddon.
  Our resolution directs the State Department and intelligence 
community to investigate all plausible explanations for David's 
disappearance including abduction by North Korea. Further, it 
encourages them to reinvigorate diplomatic efforts and work closely 
with our allies in the region.
  Lastly, it calls upon the State Department and intelligence community 
to continue to work with and inform Congress and the Sneddon family on 
efforts to recover David and resolve his disappearance.
  We owe it to David, who had his whole life ahead of him before 
setting out to hike the Tiger Leaping Gorge on that fateful day in 
August 2004. We owe to the Sneddon family, who have waited, prayed, and 
tirelessly advocated for his safe recovery.
  I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this resolution.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to 
reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The resolution (S. Res. 92) was agreed to.
  The preamble was agreed to.
  (The resolution, with its preamble, is printed in the Record of March 
23, 2017, under ``Submitted Resolutions.'')