A North Korean defector has claimed she was forced to provide information on the movements of a pastor living in China who was helping defectors, shortly before he was murdered by agents of Pyongyang’s Ministry of State Security.
Han Chung-ryeol, a pastor at a church in China’s Changbai City, helped to run a network that assisted people fleeing the border region before they could be caught and sent back to North Korea. He disappeared in April 2016 but was later found dead with a slashed throat.
In an interview with the Seoul-based DailyNK news site, the woman, who defected from North Korea in June, explained she had been caught smuggling medicinal herbs and scrap metal into North Korea, and local authorities forced her to become an informant.
She was ordered to record the movements of Pastor Han and pass the information on to security officers.
The woman, who has not been named, said she was “shocked” when she learned that the information she had been providing was used to kill Mr Han.