Archive for the North Korea Category

N. Korean Christian Freed from Chinese Jail

Posted in China, North Korea with tags , , , , , , on January 8, 2008 by Mike

A North Korean Christian who had been imprisoned in China for helping North Korean refugees has been released, according to The Christian Post.

Yoo Sang-joon is now safely in South Korea after spending the last four months in a prison located in northern China, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). He is said to have endured extreme cold during his imprisonment and was believed he would die while being confined in China.

Although he was sent winter clothes early in his prison term, he was only given them on the day of his release. Yoo reportedly still suffers from a number of physical problems as a result of his incarceration.

“I am grateful from the depths of my heart to CSW and CSW supporters for all the deep concern, prayer and advocacy on my behalf while I was in prison,” said Yoo, according to CSW.

Read the rest of this amazing story. The story didn’t end quite so well for his son–at least here on earth.

North Koreans Set Up Fake Churches

Posted in North Korea with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2007 by Mike

BosNewsLife is reporting that the North Korean National Security Agency is stepping up its efforts to hunt down underground Christian churches by setting up fake churches.

The North Korean Democracy Network, which includes North Korean pro-democracy activists and exiles, said in its Internet newspaper ‘The Daily NK’, that the NSA set up at least one fake church in the border area with China consisting “of its security agents”

It quoted an unidentified source, involved in underground church work, as saying that “Some security agents disguise themselves as defectors and deliberately approach those Korean churches operating in China.”

With money and Bibles received from these churches for missionary work in North Korea, “the agents establish a fake church” in North Korea to find Christians and “hunt down domestic underground churches connected to the churches in China,” the source added.

Pray that God will give the true Christians wisdom and discernment, and that they will be a light to the agents who are hunting them.

North Korean Survivor Facing Trial in China

Posted in China, North Korea with tags , , , , on November 25, 2007 by Mike

Michelle Vu from The Christian Post is reporting that a man who escaped North Korea is facing trial in China for helping other North Korean refugees.

Yoo Sang-joon was arrested near the Chinese-Mongolian border while trying to rescue other North Koreans from danger in China, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

According to the group, activists in South Korea consider Yoo’s case unique because of his tragic background and “redemptive sacrificial motivation.”

“We are naturally deeply concerned for Mr. Yoo. It would be abhorrent if, after suffering such a terrible tragedy with the death of his son as he tried to escape from China, the Chinese authorities would punish him for seeking to save others from a similar fate,” said CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas.

Yoo’s motivation for helping North Korean refugees reportedly stems from his own tragic personal story. After his wife and youngest son died in the North Korean famine, the weakened Yoo – realizing that he and his remaining son would likely suffer the same fate – had decided to flee to China.

Unable to travel together, his son Chul Min, 10, attempted to escape across the Mongolian border. However, unfamiliar with the inhospitable terrain, he wandered for 26 hours and – suffering from dehydration and weakened from the famine – died before crossing the border, according to CSW.

North Korean Christians Arrested–status unknown

Posted in North Korea with tags , , , , , , on November 20, 2007 by Mike

Voice of the Martyrs is reporting that a number of people that the government of North Korea had arrested in September for spying are in fact Christians.

The security service spokesman at the press conference, Li Su Gil, said that those arrested “carried out the missions by means of diverse espionage equipment.” He did not name any of those arrested.

VOM has identified the following North Korean Christians who have disappeared and are believed to have been arrested by government authorities:

Onseong, North Hamgyong Province:

Chul Huh, male

Chun-Il Jang, male, 39

Young-Su Jin, male, 32

Myung-Chul Kim, male, 36

Nam-Suk Kang, male, 48

Young-Yae Lee, female, 37

Hoeryong, North Hamgyong Province:

San-Ho Kang, male, 36

Cheongjin, North Hamgyong Province:

Mi-Hae Park, female, 30

Suk-Chun Suh, male, 29

These North Korean Christians had started a portrait photography studio to help support themselves, and had registered their businesses with appropriate government authorities. According to VOM sources working in North Korea, they were not involved in espionage activities. It is believed that equipment taken by the government was in fact photography equipment used in their portrait work.

“Following Jesus Christ is considered treason in North Korea, where the government mandates that worship is reserved for deceased dictator Kim Il Sung and his son, the current dictator, Kim Jong Il,” said Todd Nettleton, spokesperson for VOM. “The Voice of the Martyrs is proud to stand with Christ’s followers in North Korea, and deeply concerned for the well-being of our brothers and sisters there. We call on the North Korean government to release these Christian believers, who were involved in legitimate business activities to support themselves and their families.”

VOM sources do not know the whereabouts of the arrested believers. It is possible that they have already been tried and executed.