North Korea rejects talks on S Korea missionary

2014-06-12 08:36
A construction division officer (top) apologising to residents following a serious accident in the construction site of an apartment house in Phyongchon District, Pyongyang. (KCNA via KNS Republic of Korea/ AFP)

A construction division officer (top) apologising to residents following a serious accident in the construction site of an apartment house in Phyongchon District, Pyongyang. (KCNA via KNS Republic of Korea/ AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Seoul - North Korea on Thursday rejected Seoul's call for talks on the fate of a South Korean missionary sentenced to hard labour for life for allegedly spying and operating an underground church.

South Korea proposed on Tuesday that the two sides should meet at the border truce village of Panmunjom for discussion on Kim Jeong-Wook, who was captured in the North last October.

In a reply two days later, the North insisted that Kim's fate should not be the object of debate because he broke the country's law and was punished in accordance with it, the South's unification ministry said in a statement.

The North has ignored Seoul's repeated calls to free the missionary, and sentenced him to hard labour for life on charges of espionage, running an underground church and being involved in "anti-state propaganda and agitation".

Fellow activists and missionaries said Kim had been providing shelter and food to North Korean refugees living in China's north-eastern border city of Dandong.

Seditious elements

They said Kim had crossed the border to establish the whereabouts of some North Korean refugees arrested in Dandong by Chinese authorities and repatriated.

Although religious freedom is enshrined in the North's constitution, it does not exist in practice. Religious activity is restricted to groups linked to the government.

Pyongyang views foreign missionaries as seditious elements intent on fomenting unrest.

A number of missionaries - mostly US citizens - have been arrested in the isolated communist state in the past. Some were allowed to return home after interventions by high-profile US figures.

US citizen Kenneth Bae, described by a North Korean court as a militant Christian evangelist, was sentenced last year to 15 years' hard labour on charges of trying to topple the government.

The North is known to be currently holding two other US citizens, both tourists arrested this year.
Read more on:    south korea  |  north korea
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something is blocking the flow of things today and it is easy to become frustrated and pessimistic. The problem is that your mind...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.