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The U.S. government is requesting the DPRK to leniently set him free from a humanitarian stand, but such thing can never happen under the prevailing situation and there remains only the issue of what harsher punishment will be meted out to him.
If the U.S. persists in its hostile approach toward the DPRK, the latter will naturally be compelled to consider the issue of applying a wartime law to him.
I think it may be time for a regime change, bring in democracy, Christianity and let's bring him home before they hurt him.