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.

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.


North Korea rejects talks on S Korea missionary

12 June 2014, 08:53

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 News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...