A 61-year-old resident in North Korea’s Ryanggang province was tied up, beaten and arrested after he returned from China, charged with spying and allegedly contacting Christian relatives.
According to Radio Free Asia, The North Korean citizen, Kim Seung-mo, a resident of the Wiyon area of Hyesan city, was dragged by state security officials in front of Wiyon train station last week.
“It happened on the third day following his return from visiting relatives in China,” a source from the province told RFA’s Korean Service.
“I witnessed him being dragged by state security officials in front of Wiyon train station,” he said. “There were about 3,000 people getting ready for the military march to Mount Paektu, who were about to depart for Samjiyon county in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the victorious Battle of Pochonbo.”
“Since he retired, he hasn’t been doing anything, though he recently visited relatives in China to lend a hand to his wife who sells used clothes on the black market,” said the source who requested anonymity.
“After he came back from China, he openly told his neighbors that his relatives attended a Christian church, and the church’s pastor collected many used clothes from parishioners for him,” he said.
“It seems like someone informed state security agents about him.”
Mount Paektu is an extinct volcano on the border between North Korea and China. It is sacred to North and South Koreans alike and is the legendary birthplace of Dangun Wanggeom, who is believed to be the founder of the first Korean kingdom around 2333 BC.
All North Korean travelers returning from China are required to report their whereabouts and details about their activities.