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North Korea: Man accused of 'spying' after visiting Christian relatives in China

15 June 2017

A North Korean man has been arrested on 'spying' charges after meeting with Christian relatives in China, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports. Kim Seung-mo, 61, was arrested earlier this month after visiting family in China's Jilin province, which runs along the North Korean border.

"After he came back from China, he openly told his neighbours that his relatives attended a church, and the church's pastor collected many used clothes from parishioners for him," a local source told RFA. "It seems like someone informed state security agents about him."

"All North Korean travellers returning from China are required to report [to the authorities] their whereabouts and details about their activities," the source added. "In Kim's case, he was arrested on charges of spying because he did not report the fact that his relatives are churchgoers and that the pastor helped him." Kim was reportedly 'shackled and tied with rope ... There were obvious signs of violent assault because [he] had split lips and black eyes, and he appeared to have sustained an injury to one of his legs'.

North Korea is the most dangerous country for Christians in the world according to Open Doors' 2017 World Watch List. Seen as a 'Western' religion, and thus a threat to the Kim Jong-Un's totalitarian leadership, Christians must keep their faith a secret.

North Korea recently arrested Tony Kim and Kim Hak Song, both of whom had worked with North Korea's Christian-run Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

Previously, Kim Dong Chul, a 62-year-old Korean-American missionary, was detained in 2015, while Otto Warmbier, 22, arrested in 2016, was given 15 years' hard labour following his 'confession' that he had stolen a piece of political propaganda at the request of his church - he was freed earlier this week and sent home in a coma after 17 months in custody on 'humanitarian grounds'.

Meanwhile, Korean-Canadian pastor Hyeun-soo Lim was given a life sentence in 2015 for various charges, including trying to overthrow the government. Like Tony Kim, Lim was involved in humanitarian work with orphanages.

Source: World Watch Monitor; RFA; BBC

Please pray:

  • That the guards and authorities would have mercy on Kim Seung-mo and let him walk free
  • That the Lord would be with Christians held in North Korean labour camps
  • For revelation for Kim Jong-Un and the leadership in North Korea, that they would come to know God.

More News from North Korea:

Find out more about persecution in North Korea.