North Korea has ordered the death of as many as 33 people because of their alleged contact with a missionary, South Korea’s largest news organization has reported.
The 33 North Koreans are charged with attempting to overthrow the regime by setting up 500 underground churches, according to the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo, which cited an unnamed source. The newspaper said they are accused of working with Kim Jung-wook, a South Korean arrested by North Korean authorities in October on suspicion of trying to establish underground churches.
The executions will be carried out in a secret location administered by the State Security Department, Chosun Ilbo reported.
Kim, a Baptist missionary, appeared on North Korean television on Feb. 27 and said he was working at the direction of the South Korean National Intelligence Service, and that his goal was the collapse of the Pyongyang regime. It’s unknown whether Kim’s TV appearance will earn his release.
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