North Korea

House of Lords written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that North Korea has ordered the deaths of people because of their alleged association with South Korean missionary Kim Jung-wook.

Photo of Baroness Stowell of Beeston Baroness Stowell of Beeston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

We are aware of media reports that as many as 33 people have been sentenced to death for alleged contact with Kim Jung-wook (aka Kim Jong-uk), a South Korean arrested by Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) authorities last year on suspicion of trying to establish underground churches. We have been unable to establish if these reports are accurate but we have raised our concerns with the DPRK authorities and requested official confirmation of what has happened to the individuals concerned. We have also called on the DPRK to respect the provision in its constitution guaranteeing “freedom of belief in religion”.

We continue to be deeply concerned by the reports of the persecution of Christians detailed by the UN Commission of Enquiry. We are working to ensure a resolution at the Human Rights Council which makes clear there can be no impunity for human rights violators.

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