A missing Christian priest in North Korea was stabbed to death with an axe. Reports have alleged that the victim was murdered by government “secret agents.”
The slain Christian pastor, Han Choong Yeol, was widely known for giving aid to Christians under the current authoritarian regime of Kim Jong Un. He was serving at the Three Self-Church, actively involved in helping North Korean defectors by giving them food, medicines and clothes.
Han Choong Yeol was 49 years old and from the town of Chiangbai, which is near the Chinese border with North Korea.
In April 30, the priest was reported to have been missing early in the day only to be found dead by a search party. Stab wounds from an axe were evident on his lifeless body.
News agencies from South Korea claimed that three “secret agents” were responsible for the murder of the Christian pastor, according to Express.
In addition, South Korean activists indicated that the agents returned to the North after slaying the pastor.
“There are many North Korean agents secretly operating in the border region, and that the latest incident demonstrates defections are a critical issue to Pyongyang,” United Press International reports.
However, the state-controlled website of North Korea denied allegations of the killing of Han Choong Yeol.
“After the murder of Pastor Han on April 30, the puppet authorities are once again yammering up clichés about the North … The truth will be revealed. The South Korean authorities are addicted to dirty slander … but their anti-human rights crimes can never be concealed,” the statement read, as quoted by Hello Christian.
According to the Christian aid charity, Open Doors, North Korea is among the countries with the highest rates of Christian persecution. Around 7,000 Christians are being detained and forced to work in camps because of their faith. Christian Daily