A South Korean missionary has been sentenced to life in a North Korean prison for attempting to organize underground churches. Kim Jung-wook admitted to committing religious acts against North Korea during his trial on Friday. He will now serve a life sentence of hard labor in prison.
Kim Jung-wook was accused carrying surveillance equipment in an effort to spy on the ruling Kim family, the head of the the only political party in the nation. South Korea has denied associated with Kim. The Christian Post reports that Kim apologized for his crimes in the trial and begged for an alternative to the death penalty.
Kim also assisted people illegally leaving North Korea for several years. In 2012, Chinese authorities caught 12 illegal immigrants that Kim was aiding in escape, and returned them to North Korea.
North Korea holds about 100,000 Christians captive in prison camps; prisoners are abused and are sometimes executed.
Publication date: June 2, 2014