North Korea detains US missionary

Christian missionary held by North Korean authorities after walking across border.

    Activists say Park was detained immediately after crossing into North Korea [Reuters]

    Activists from South Korea said Park entered North Korea from China to call attention to the country's human rights conditions.

    They said he walked across the frozen Tumen River from China.

    Jo Sung-rae of the Seoul-based activist group Pax Koreana said that North Korean border guards detained the missionary as soon as he walked into the communist state.

    'Vision from God'

    According to his colleagues, Park, a US citizen of Korean ancestry, claimed he had seen a vision from God of North Korea's liberation and redemption.

    Euna Lee and Laura Ling were freed by the North after Bill Clinton intervened [Reuters]

    They also said he crossed the border shouting "I came here to proclaim God's love".

    Park is said to have carried a letter calling on Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader, to release political prisoners, close concentration camps and take steps to improve rights and conditions.

    His crossing comes after North Korea freed two US journalists earlier this year who had been arrested in March and sentenced to 12 years of hard labour for trespassing and "hostile acts".

    They were freed in August following a diplomatic mission led by Bill Clinton, the former US president.

    North Korea holds some 154,000 political prisoners in six large camps across the country, according to South Korean government estimates.

    The country has long been regarded as having one of the world's worst human rights records, but it denies the existence of prison camps.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.