Thirty-three people have been arrested and face the death penalty in North Korea for helping a missionary in his efforts to set up a network of 500 underground churches.
Thirty-three North Koreans face execution after being charged with attempting to overthrow the repressive regime of Kim Jong-un.
The Koreans have landed themselves in hot water after it emerged they had worked with South Korean Baptist missionary Kim Jung-wook and received money to set up 500 underground churches. It is understood they will be put to death in a cell at the State Security Department.
Experts believe the North Koreans are being punished more harshly than usual as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un combats a wave of dissatisfaction at the regime’s isolationist “juche” doctrine.
Missionary Kim Jung-wook was arrested and jailed last year for allegedly trying to establish underground churches. Last week he held a press conference at which he apologized for committing “anti-state” crimes and appealed for his release from North Korean custody
He told reporters that he was arrested in early October after entering the North from China and trying to make his way to Pyongyang with Bibles, Christian instructional materials and movies.