Date: June 20, 2013
Sources: World Affairs Journal, Assist News Service
North Korea has found U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae guilty for "hostile acts" against the state, sentencing him to 15 years of hard labour. The verdict was handed down on April 30th. A press release from North Korea's "Korean Central News Agency" reported on May 15th that he has now begun serving his sentence within a "special prison."
Kenneth, described as a devout Christian, is the owner of a North Korea tour company. He was in the country with official permission when detained by North Korean authorities on November 3rd. Human rights activist Rev. Robert Park says one thing is certain. "Bae, a humanitarian who had compassion for North Korea's starving and abandoned orphans, is not indictable for any crime. Rather, he is a hostage being held to accommodate yet undetermined North Korean agenda."
The concerned activist further explains that this case is reminiscent of the still unresolved case of a Christian minister and humanitarian, Rev. Kim Dong-shik, who died in a North Korean prison. In 2000, North Korean agents crossed the border and hunted Kim down in China where he was operating several underground shelters for North Korean refugees. He was abducted and returned to North Korea where he was reportedly tortured and starved to death.
A 2011 report from the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea discovered that the country has abducted more than 180,000 people from 12 countries. Apart from North Korea's own citizens, Rev. Park said no nation and people have suffered more as a result of the savagery...than the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Apart from the abductions, murders and terrorist attacks, he believes North Korea continues to be the world's worst proliferator of nuclear weapons technology, also committing crimes against humanity and genocide against its own people. To learn how you can join us in reaching out to the citizens of North Korea with the Good News of the Gospel, please check www.persecution.net/kp-2012-08-09.htm.
We can stand in the gap by interceding on behalf of Christians who, like Kenneth Bae and the late Rev. Kim Dong-shik, have been targeted by North Korea's regime of totalitarianism for doing what is noble and upright...for extending compassion toward abandoned orphans and refugees. Great is their reward in heaven! In the meantime, let's pray for the protection of Kenneth and numerous other believers who are suffering great injustice and mistreatment merely for being followers of Jesus. Also remember to lift up their loved ones and those who are advocating on their behalf. (We invite you to express your prayers for these suffering believers at our prayer wall www.persecution.net/prayerwall.)