A Canadian businessman, one of the few Western figures to meet the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, has been missing in China.
Michael Spavor was reported missing after he had warned the Canadian government that he had been questioned in China earlier this week and has not been heard since, according to Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
He is the second Canadian figure who has been missing in China for the past two days.
Spavor is the director of the Paektu Cultural Exchange, a company that brings tourists and athletes to North Korea. He helped arrange a visit to North Korea, where former NBA player Dennis Rodman met Kim Jong-Un in 2017.
Global Affairs Canada confirmed that Spavor missed a statement on Wednesday night.
Canadian businessman Michael Spavor was reported missing on Wednesday in China after being questioned by local authorities and has not been heard ever since
Spavor is the director of the Paektu Cultural Exchange, a company that brings tourists and athletes to North Korea and is one of the few Westerners known to the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
He would be in Seoul, South Korea on Monday, but never showed up. He told the Canadian authorities that he had been summoned for questioning in China and has not been heard since. Spavor pictured above with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un
He helped arrange a visit to North Korea by former NBA player Dennis Rodman (photo left)
We are aware that a Canadian citizen, Mr. Michael Spavor, is currently missing in China & # 39 ;, said the government.
& # 39; As the Secretary of State said today, we are aware of a Canadian citizen who had contact with us from China. We were unable to make contact because he informed us that he was questioned by the Chinese authorities. We are working hard to establish his whereabouts and we continue to raise this with the Chinese government, "the statement added.
His disappearance comes just two days after the former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was detained in China on Monday 10 December.
He was arrested on suspicion of "activities that harm China's national security", according to Chinese media.
"Canada is deeply concerned about the detention of Mr. Kovrig and Canada has raised the matter directly with Chinese officials & # 39; said Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland after his arrest.
After Kovrig was detained, Spavor contacted the Canadian government and said he had been summoned for interrogation. According to reports, he has also been missing since Monday.
He reportedly knew Kovrig, according to The Globe and Mail.
His disappearance comes just two days after the former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was detained in China on Monday. Kovrig and Spavor allegedly know each other
Spavor lives in China, but works closely with North and South Korea. He would arrive Monday in Seoul, South Korea, but never showed up, according to CTV News.
It is also less than two weeks after Meng Wanzhou, the chief executive of the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver on December 1 at the request of the United States for possible extradition.
Wanzhou was arrested on US claims that she used a Hong Kong shellfish company to do business with Iran and violated US sanctions.
Meng was released on Tuesday after placing a $ 10 million bail, but she is still limited to Vancouver and the nearby suburbs and must be a GPS tracker.
The Canadian government has not said whether the arrest of Kovrig and Spavor is revenge from the Chinese government after the arrest of Wanzhou.
Friends and experts say that Kovrig is a hostage & # 39; and & # 39; pawn & # 39; has become a feud of three countries, according to AFP.
The arrest of Kovrig and Spavor follows on December 1 in Vancouver, Canada, the arrest of the prominent Chinese businesswoman Meng Wanzhou, 46. Wanzhou was arrested on US claims that she used a Hong Kong shellfish company to do business with Iran, with US sanctions were violated
Meng was released on Tuesday after placing a $ 10 million bail, but she is still limited to Vancouver and the nearby suburbs and must be a GPS tracker. Pictured above at the parole office with a security guard in Vancouver
According to Canada & # 39; s former ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques, & # 39; In China there are no coincidences & # 39 ;.
"In this case, it is clear that the Chinese government wants to exert maximum pressure on the Canadian government," he said Tuesday to Canadian Broadcasing Corporation when he was asked about the arrest of Kovrig who came shortly after Wanzhou.
After Wanzhou was arrested, China threatened serious consequences for Canada.
Analysts predicted that retaliation was likely before the arrest.
The tensions between Canada and China come when the US and China hold trade talks this week.
The president said he would invade Wanzhou if it helped establish a trade agreement with China.