Seoul (AsiaNews) - North Korea continues to mobilize resources to deal with its citizens who come into contact with Christianity in China. On the 8th, sources conveyed to Daily NK that personnel from a number of state organs, including the State Security Department, General Reconnaissance Bureau and diplomatic corps, have received additional orders on the matter.
A source located in Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province told Daily NK by phone, "State security personnel dispatched to China to catch legal North Korean visitors learning of Christianity are continuing with their activities. Consular employees are active in this work, as are young reconnaissance bureau employees deployed for this specific purpose, and they are looking to make arrests."
"Before, [the authorities] only had a list of names but now they use photos to find people. On the orders of the Marshal [Kim Jong Eun], this kind of activity has been on the rise since mid-April," the source went on.
The source said he believes that this outward expansion from the border region is a reflection of the regime's determination to deal with the possibility of mass desertions and thwart the potential for ideological unrest.
According to the source, "This order was handed down by the Marshal, and all personnel in China have been ordered to execute it. There is talk that the authorities have said they will weed out all of those with ties to the church and that they will expose everything that has been happening in China."
In North Korea, only the cult of the leader Kim Jong-il and his father Kim Il-sung is allowed. The regime has always tried to crush religious activities, particularly by Buddhists and Christians, and requires that religious believers register with organisations controlled by the Party.
Christians who are not registered with the former or those who engage in missionary activities are frequently the victims of violent and brutal persecution.
Since the communist regime consolidated its power after 1953, about 300,000 Christians disappeared. Currently, there are no known priests and nuns in the country; all of those who did exist were likely murdered in a wave of persecutions.