[imText1]In January 2000, Pastor Kim Dong Shik was abducted by North Korean agents while helping defectors in Yanji. However, Pastor Kim’s family argue that he died within a year of being kidnapped.
In a telephone conversation with the DailyNK on the 7th, Pastor Kim’s wife, Jung Young Hwa said while weeping, “Missionary Cha On Yee who works for a missionary group in China said on the 29th of last month, ‘Pastor Kim who led Chicago Evengelical Holiness Church for 36 years, died within a year of being kidnapped.’”
According to Cha, the reason behind Pastor Kim’s death was his refusal to deny Jesus at the request of North Korean authorities. Mrs. Kim added, “Missionary Cha recently went to Shenyang, China and heard this news from an inside source in North Korea.”
She said, “I heard stories about my husband’s death in 2005” and, “My husband was kidnapped in 2000 and forced to a political concentration camp. With malnutrition and the aftereffects of torture, I guessed that he may have already had his last breath.”
“North Korea wanted my husband to covert to the Juche ideology and deprived him his meals. His weight decreased quickly from 80kg to nearly 35kg on the brink of his death” she said and revealed, “Now, we will begin a campaign for his ashes to be sent home.”
Representative Doh Hee Yoon of the Citizens’ Coalition for Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees has led the campaign for the return of Pastor Kim’s ashes. A claim in 2005 had already been made stating that Pastor Kim had died from torture and malnutrition the year after his abduction.
At the time, through a source in North Korea, representative Doh heard that, “The National Safety Agency of North Korea conspired a secret operation to let Pastor Kim cross freely out of North Korea, but he failed. So, he was deliberately left alone and eventually died” and revealed, “Pastor Kim died tragically as a martyr suffering from rectal cancer, aftereffects of torture, depression arising from claustrophobia and malnutrition.”
According to Mr. Doh, Pastor Kim’s corpse remains at People’s Army Camp 91, a garrison in Sangwon, a suburb on the outer skirts of Pyongyang.
The campaign began in 2005 by South Korean NGO’s after hearing the news of Pastor Kim’s death for the first time. A request was made to the government to bring Pastor Kim’s ashes back to Korea. Following the proceedings for Pastor Kim’s abduction, a Korean-Chinese man “Kim (39)” was prosecuted under national security law and sentenced to 5 years of duty in March 2006. He is currently serving in the military.