Report: 33 North Koreans Face Execution

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 12:41 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Thirty-three North Koreans are facing execution on charges that they attempted to overthrow the regime of Kim Jong Un, according to a South Korean newspaper.

They were also accused of conspiring with South Korean Baptist missionary Kim Jung-wook and receiving money to set up 500 underground churches in North Korea, according to Chosun Ilbo.

A source told the newspaper that the North Koreans will be put to death in a cell at the State Security Department.

Jung-wook was arrested last year for attempting to establish churches in the communist state. Last week he was paraded by North Korea authorities to promote its allegations that underground churches are sedition cells funded by South Korea's National Intelligence Service, says the report.

Kim apologized for his “anti-state crimes” and appealed for his release while admitting that he had received assistance from the intelligence agency, according to the Daily Mail.

The South Korean news report, which has not been confirmed, followed a claim two months ago in Wen Wei Po, a Hong Kong-based publication, that Kim Jong Un had his uncle stripped naked, thrown into a cage, and eaten alive by a pack of 120 ravenous hounds. That report turned out to be untrue.

Last month the United Nations released a report confirming gross human rights abuses in North Korea’s prison labor camps.

The report detailed murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence in North Korea. It concluded that the atrocities carried echoes of the Nazi Holocaust, and that many of the violations "constitute crimes against humanity."

North Korea refused to cooperate with the commission, claiming its evidence was "fabricated" by "hostile" forces.

It is believed that American missionary Kenneth Bae, who was arrested by Kim Jong Un’s regime in 2012 and jailed for 15 years for unspecified “hostile acts,” was being held in one of the labors camps in the communist country.

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