South Korea urges release of its missionary held in North

June 02, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

SEOUL: The South Korean government urged North Korea yesterday to release a South Korean missionary, Kim Jong Uk, who was sentenced to life with hard labour by a North Korean court.

“It is regrettable that North Korea went ahead with perfunctory trial procedures in a unilateral manner and gave our citizen severe punishment. We strongly urge North Korea to release and repatriate our citizen to South Korea as soon as possible,” South Korea’s Unification Ministry said in a statement.

North Korea sentenced Kim to life with hard labour on Friday after convicting him of espionage and setting up an underground church.“We have demanded North Korea free and repatriate Kim on several occasions, but it has not responded to our and the international community’s legitimate demand. This clearly violates the international norms as well as universal value of humanitarian spirit,” the statement added.