N Korea: Christians linked to detained missionary face execution

March 17, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

The ruling Kim family is venerated in North KoreaNorth Korea, March 11, 2014: Dozens of North Koreans have been arrested, accused of helping a detained South Korean missionary; 33 face execution on charges of attempting to overthrow the regime by conspiring with him to set up 500 underground churches.

News of the arrests came after Kim Jung-wook, who was arrested by the North Korean authorities in October, “confessed” at a press conference on 27 February to spying and attempting to establish a series of house churches in the country to spread Christianity. He was also said to be distributing Bibles and other Christian materials.

Confessions scripted by the authorities are a standard prerequisite for detained foreigners seeking release in North Korea. Jung-wook said:

I was thinking of turning North Korea into a religious country, and destroying its present government and political system. I received money from the intelligence services and followed instructions from them, and arranged North Koreans to act as their spies.

During the press conference, Pyongyang officials aired interviews with five North Koreans who said they had met Jung-wook and received money from him.

An anonymous source told Radio Free Asia’s Korean Service:

After the press conference, dozens of people vanished into thin air. The missing people are presumed to be people connected to Kim Jung-wook or family members of those connected to him.

South Korea’s The Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported last week that 33 North Koreans who converted to Christianity or received money from Jung-wook face execution in a secret cell at the State Security Department.

Others facing punishment include guards who allegedly allowed the missionary to pass through security checkpoints on his way from China to Pyongyang.

Jung-wook is an evangelist who had been providing shelter and food to North Korean escapees in the Chinese border city of Dandong for seven years. Some of his fellow activists said that he had crossed the Yalu River to Sinuiju to find out the whereabouts of some North Korean refugees who had been arrested by the Chinese authorities and repatriated.

A source in China, however, told The Chosun Ilbo that Jung-wook did not cross the border voluntarily but was kidnapped by North Korean agents in Dandong.

The newspaper said that many believe the Pyongyang regime “orchestrated all this on purpose as part of its campaign to ferret out underground churches”, which it claims are sedition cells funded by South Korea’s National Intelligence Service.

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has apparently ramped up efforts to reinforce the country’s Juche (self-reliance) ideology, which is effectively a cult of personality designed to deify Kim Il-Sung (the grandfather of Kim Jong-Un), holding mass rallies and bolstering propaganda efforts. All citizens are expected to follow the principles of Juche, and those who are considered to have acted against it are harshly punished.

– barnabas team

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.