Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » Christian Persecution - Asia » North Korea » North Koreans Face Execution for Contact with Missionary
By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA (Worthy News)-- Thirty-three Koreans could be executed by the North's State Security Department Sunday for allegedly accepting funds to overthrow Kim Jong-un's regime, according to Chosun Media.
Last year, Baptist missionary Kim Jung-wook was arrested in the North for allegedly recruiting the 33 in an attempt to establish an underground network of house churches to help topple the totalitarian state of Jong-un's "hermit kingdom".
In a televised press conference late last month, North Korean authorities aired interviews of five of its citizens who had "confessed" to having met with the South Korean missionary and receiving money from him. But many believe that the North coerced these confessions as part of its campaign to expose any clandestine churches and arrest its members.
In footage broadcast on South Korean television, Jung-wook gave credence to the North's claim that underground churches are seditious cells funded by South Korea's National Intelligence Service, according to UCA News.
"I thought that the (North's) current regime should be brought down and acted ... under directions from the National Intelligence Service," Jung-wook said. "I met with North Koreans and introduced them to the NIS ... I also vilified and insulted the North's leadership with extremely colorful language."
Kim Eui-do, a spokesman for South Korea's ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs, said: "It is hard to understand how (North Korea) calls our national(Jung-wook )-- who is doing purely religious activities -- an anti-state criminal."
Jung-wook supposedly said that statues in honor of the North's Kim dynasty should be smashed and churches built in their place, but foreigners arrested in North Korea are often required to make outrageous public confessions to help expedite their release.
South Korea urged the North to quickly release Jung-wook and guarantee his safety before his repatriation.