NORTH KOREA: 33 PEOPLE TO BE EXECUTED FOR ALLEGEDLY TRYING TO ESTABLISH UNDERGROUND CHURCHES
March 5, 2014: South Korean press reported that thirty-three North Koreans would face execution after being charged with attempting to overthrow the repressive regime of Kim Jong-un. It is understood they will be put to death in a cell at the State Security Department, The Chosunilbo South Korean newspaper said. They had worked with South Korean Baptist missionary Kim Jung-wook and received money to set up 500 underground churches.
Missionary Kim Jung-wook, 50, was arrested and jailed in October 2013 for allegedly trying to establish underground churches. On 27 February 2014, he held a press conference in Pyongyang at which he apologized for committing "anti-state" crimes and appealed for his release from North Korean custody.
He told reporters that he was arrested after entering the North from China and trying to make his way to Pyongyang with Bibles, Christian instructional materials and movies.
Kim Jung-wook said he had received assistance from South Korea's intelligence agency and followed instructions from them, and arranged North Koreans to act as their spies.
A South Korean intelligence source in China took issue with Kim's account, saying that the missionary did not enter North Korea voluntarily, but was kidnapped by agents of the Pyongyang government in China.
During Kim Jung-wook's press conference, North Korean officials also showed video of North Koreans who confessed to coming into contact with the missionary. (Sources: chosun.com, 05/03/2014)