North Korea (DPRK) has painted a picture that imprisoned Korean-American Kenneth Bae is a subversive who was plotting to overthrow the government. A spokesman of the North Korean Supreme Court told state news agency KCNA that Bae “set up plot-breeding bases in different places of China for the purpose of toppling the DPRK government, from 2006 to October 2012 out of distrust and enmity toward the DPRK.”
The state news agency KCNA refers to Bae by his Korean name, Pae Jun Ho, and charges that he committed such hostile acts as egging citizens of the DPRK overseas and foreigners on to perpetrate hostile acts to bring down its government while conducting a malignant smear campaign against it. KCNA goes into detail on the “propaganda materials” Bae is accused of carrying, which reportedly included a 2007 National Geographic documentary “Don’t tell my mother that I am in North Korea” and a book called “1.5 billion in China and North Korea, the world’s last closed nations.”.
NK News describes him as “a trained missionary who was using his China-based tour company as a platform to bring missionaries into North Korea.” It is reported that Bae was dispatched to China as a missionary of the Youth With A Mission in April, 2006.
KCNA reports that Bae set up “plot-breeding bases disguised with diverse signboards in different parts of China for the past six years.”
As to the proclaimed freedom of religion in North Korea, a North Korean defector told the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, in a report on treatment of Christians in the country, that the few visible churches in North’s Korea capital city are an elaborate show.
“North Korea does have Christians and Catholics. They have buildings but they are all fake,” the defector said. “These groups exist to falsely show the world that North Korea has freedom of religion. But [the government] does not allow religion or [independent] religious organizations because it is worried about the possibility that Kim Jong Il’s regime would be in danger [because] religion erodes society.”