• Mon
  • Dec 29, 2014
  • Updated: 9:55am

North Korea

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a country in East Asia, located in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula bordering South Korea and China. Its capital, Pyongyang, is the country's largest city by both land area and population. It is a single-party state led by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP), and governed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un since 2012. It has a population of 24,052,231 (UN-assisted DPRK census 2008) made up of Koreans and a smaller Chinese minority. Japan 'opened' Korea in 1876 and annexed it in 1910. The Republic of Korea (ROK) was founded with US support in the south in August 1948 and the Soviet-backed Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north in September that year. 

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'I committed a criminal act, I'm sorry': North Korea expels Hong Kong-based missionary

Evangelist flown to Beijing after penning apology for spreading Bible tracts at temple

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 March, 2014, 11:15am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2014, 9:32am

North Korea yesterday expelled to Beijing the Hong Kong-based missionary it had accused of distributing religious materials.

Australian John Short, 75, was released after he gave North Korean authorities a written confession apologising for spreading Bible tracts at a temple on February 16, the birthday of the late "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il.

"I request the forgiveness of the DPRK for my actions. I am willing to bow down on my knees to request this tolerance of the DPRK and the Korean people," he wrote, referring to the full name of the country, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Watch: North Korea deports detained Hong Kong-based Australian missionary

Short, who has lived in Hong Kong for 50 years but is not a permanent resident, was met by Australian consular officials on arrival in Beijing.

The North Korean state-run KCNA news agency said he was freed partly in consideration for his age. The missionary arrived on a group tour in Pyongyang on February 15 and was arrested the next day.

His wife, Karen (pictured yesterday after news of the release), went public on February 19 with news of his disappearance. She had remained in Hong Kong.

Short's detention became known via David Wong, a mainland Chinese colleague who was in Pyongyang with him and was also questioned by police. Wong was allowed to return to China on February 18.

It is unusual for North Korea to let a detainee go so soon after his arrest. US citizen Kenneth Bae, also a missionary, is serving a 15-year sentence for allegedly trying to overthrow the state.

An analyst in South Korea saw the release as the North making an effort to show a soft side. It follows a United Nations report published on February 17 saying North Korean security chiefs should face justice over abuses comparable to Nazi-era atrocities.

"With the UN human rights report out, they don't want to be isolated in the international arena, so they showed a softer policy towards Australia," said Kim Han-kwon, director of the Centre for China Policy at the Asian Institute for Policy Studies, an independent think tank.

Kim said China had probably also advised a gentler approach. "With Kenneth Bae, it's a matter of North Korea and the US, and they have to show a strong position," he said.

Dr Leonid Petrov, a Korea specialist at the Australian National University, said the release "indicates human rights in North Korea, at least where foreign nationals are concerned, are respected".

Australia has no diplomatic representation in North Korea. Stockholm handles diplomatic matters on Canberra's behalf.

Karen Short, 57, said she would probably join her husband in Beijing.

"I'm so thankful; God has been with us in this," she said. "It's been quite an ordeal. He needs a few days to pause and think about what's happened."

Separately, a South Korean missionary confessed last week to spying and trying to build an underground church in the country.

Additional reporting by Associated Press and Patrick Boehler

 

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pslhk
Jekyll and Hyde is the industrialized version
of the god and satan story
-
people were expelled from Eden
after gaining knowledge
god would be satan
without the subsequent crucification
and the “promise” of kingdom of heaven
-
the messianic story is predicated on faith
just like the dollar
rod and carrot
IGWT
crawford188@yahoo.com
Please let me know what they (HK, Australia and Swedish) governments did to help release him. Did they send anybody from their respective governments into DPRK to appeal for his release? The DPRK government deported him!!
These other 3 countries couldn't really be of much help to begin with! Was there any hint of the DPRK government bowing to pressure from the HK, Australia and Swedish govts? I do not think so.
pangkf
What a good news. One thing I just surprised is Swedish government instead of China or Australian government to provide assistance for his release. First time I know that Swedish government has good relationship with North Korea.
mercedes2233
How do you know it is 'good'?
crawford188@yahoo.com
It is 'good' because in Christianity there is hope as we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who is the only person in this world who rose from the dead ( the same cannot be said about Mohammad or Buddha) physically and after we die we know where we are going.
How about you? What do you believe happens when we die?

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