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  • » 02/28/2014, 00.00

    KOREA

    North Korea rejects request for the release of arrested Christian missionary



    The government in Pyongyang fails to justify its decision. Kim Jeong-wook, a Baptist, was arrested in October 2013. At a press conference organised by the regime, he asks for "mercy" and admits his "crimes" against the North.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) - The government of North Korea rejected a request for the release of Christian missionary Kim Jeong-wook, who was arrested in October 2013 and appeared for the first time yesterday at a press conference organised by the regime.

    During the conference, Kim "admitted to crimes" against Pyongyang and asked the Stalinist authorities to have "mercy on him."

    Immediately after that, the South Korean government asked the North to release the missionary. Today, it received a negative response.

    The South Korean Unification Ministry, which handles relations with North Korea, made ​​it clear that it was not given the reasons for the refusal.

    Kim, a Baptist missionary, yesterday said that he "tried to create a network of house churches in North Korea with the support of the intelligence services of the South", which however denied any involvement.

    Kim, 50, was arrested on the day he crossed into North Korea from China. According to the agents of the Stalinist regime, he was carrying Bibles and "other Christian religious materials."

    Immediately after he was arrested, Pyongyang announced it had captured a "spy", but since then it had ceased mentioning the missionary's name.

    Kim is not alone in his predicament. John Short, a 75-year-old Australian missionary, and Kenneth Bae, a US citizen sentenced to 15 years for "subversive activities," are also detained in the North.

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    See also

    31/07/2015 NORTH KOREA – CANADA
    Pyongyang holds a Protestant missionary for planning a theocracy in North Korea
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    22/02/2005 NORTH KOREA
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    22/05/2007 NORTH KOREA
    For the first time Pyongyang opens to a Catholic delegation in the fight against TB
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    27/11/2007 KOREA
    Pyongyang resumes public executions
    According to a South Korean based organisation for human rights in the north, last week over 150 thousand people were forced to watch an industrialist being shot to death for “having phoned abroad”. In the stampede on the way out six people were crushed to death.

    16/10/2007 NORTH KOREA– VIETNAM
    The Pope’s Letter to China, key to North Korean opening
    The text sent from the Holy See to the Church in China has also been studied by Pyongyang and Hanoi, who are beginning an historic bilateral meeting today. According to one of the leading experts on North Korea, a new era in relations in which Pyongyang, moved by the Pope’s words, many renounce threats and open to dialogue.



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