Seoul (AsiaNews ) - The Stalinist regime of North Korea has arrested dozens of Pyongyang citizens, accused of helping a South Korean Christian missionary in his alleged "spying activities " in the country. Those arrested have been interned in a labor camp for political prisoners, and now may face the firing squad according to local sources - anonymous for security reasons - speaking to Radio Free Asia.
Kim Jeong- wook, a Baptist, was arrested in October of 2013 by the North Korean authorities. After his arrest the missionary disappeared for four months and reappeared for the first time February 27, 2014 during a press conference (see photo) organized by the regime. The regime say is guilty of "espionage with the complicity of the secret services of Seoul" and "illegal distribution of religious materials " including Bibles and Christian texts.
During the daily
Mass in Santa Marta, yesterday (March 4, 2014) the Pope recalled that
"in the world today there are Christians who are punished just for possessing
a Bible", and stressed that "today there are more martyrs for the
faith than in the first days
of the Church".
During the press conference, Kim "admitted his crimes" against Pyongyang and asked the Stalinist authorities to have "mercy" on him. In addition, he revealed details about his illegal entry into the country, according to some sources he may also have provided a list of people who helped him, and who were immediately arrested. After the press conference, the Seoul government asked the North to release the missionary, but the day after Pyongyang gave a negative response.
Lee Seok - yeong , director of Free North Korea Radio (a broadcaster based in Seoul some exiles from the north work), explains that the punishment for these alleged accomplices will be terrible , "Anyone who helped him will probably be shot by a special firing squad. If they are really fortunate, they will be locked up in a labor camp for political prisoners".