SEOUL, June 12 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's Unification Ministry said Thursday that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) rejected its offer to hold dialogue on a South Korean Christian missionary detained in Pyongyang for more than seven months.
The South Korean government proposed to the DPRK Tuesday that the two sides should hold talks about Kim Jong-wook, who has been detained in the DPRK since October 2013, on June 17 at the Peace House, the administrative building in the South Korean side of the border village of Panmunjeom, according to the ministry.
The DPRK sent its response to the proposal earlier in the day, saying talks about Kim will not be an issue to argue as Kim, who wore a mask of the missionary, illegally stole into the DPRK to commit "anti-state hostile acts" before being arrested and punished.
The ministry in charge of South Korea's DPRK policy said that the rejection was very regrettable, urging the DPRK once again to agree to the proposal.
In late May, the missionary was sentenced to a life hard labor in a trial held in the DPRK for allegedly committing various "anti- state" crimes.
Kim was convicted of plotting to establish underground churches, subvert the government, illegally entering into the country and conducting spy activities at the behest of the South Korean spy agency.
He appeared at the DPRK-arranged news conference in February, saying he was arrested on Oct. 8, one day after crossing into Pyongyang from Dandong, China.
The missionary apologized for his crimes, saying he sought to turn the DPRK into a religious nation and destroy its government and political system while arranging spy activities of the DPRK people after receiving thousands of dollars and orders from the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the South Korean spy agency.
S. Korea urges DPRK to release missionary sentenced to life hard labor
SEOUL, June 1 (Xinhua) -- South Korea urged the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sunday to release a South Korean Christian missionary who was sentenced to hard labor for life two days ago.
The Unification Ministry in charge of South Korea's DPRK policy said in a statement that it was very regrettable for Pyongyang to sentence the missionary, Kim Jong-wook, to a hard labor for life through a cursory trial, urging the country to release and return him home as early as possible. Full story