North Korea: new crackdown on Christians

North Korea continues to mobilize resources to deal with its citizens coming into contact with Christianity in China. On the 8th, sources conveyed to Daily NK that personnel from a number of state organs, including the State Security Department, General Reconnaissance Bureau and diplomatic corps, have received additional orders on the matter.

A source located in Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province told Daily NK by phone, “State security personnel dispatched to China to catch legal North Korean visitors learning of Christianity are continuing with their activities. Consular employees are active in this work, as are young reconnaissance bureau employees deployed for this specific purpose, and they are looking to make arrests.”

“Before, [the authorities] only had a list of names but now they use photos to find people. On the orders of the Marshal [Kim Jong Eun], this kind of activity has been on the rise since mid-April,” the source went on.

To illustrate just how wide-ranging the operation has become, the source described the arrest of one woman in her 50s who had contact with a Christian church in far-flung Beijing. She was repatriated back to the North after residing in the Chinese capital for more than five years.

The source said he believes that this outward expansion from the border region is a reflection of the regime’s determination to deal with the possibility of mass desertions and thwart the potential for ideological unrest.

This most recent directive also comes alongside Kim Jong Eun’s heightened concern with “ideological education,” in addition to the arrest and trial of South Korean missionary Kim Jung Wook, who is currently serving a life sentence for “anti-state crimes.”


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