Seoul’s spy agency raided the offices of a Christian organization last Friday on charges of violating South Korea’s anti-Pyongyang National Security Law, after the group helped a North Korean defector, who wanted to return home, hold a press conference.
Law enforcement entered the offices of the group known as Christian Peace Action Shepherds and also served search warrants at the residences of Pastors Choe Jae-bong and Kim Seong-yun.
Police also issued an arrest warrant for Kim. A law enforcement source said Choe was out of the country, but once he returns from China, and after the seized documents from the raid are analyzed, police would determine whether to issue a subpoena, the source said.
Police said they have evidence the two pastors had been in contact with North Korean agents, and that Kim had met with spies affiliated with the Pyongyang’s Workers’ Party, during a trip to the Chinese city of Dalian in April 2011.
Christian Peace Action Shepherds received public attention in August after staging a press conference for the North Korean defector who said she wished to return to the North. Kim Ryon-hui had said she was tricked into defecting by South Korean agents in China.
The group immediately held a press conference outside the building on Friday where the raid had occurred and condemned the police and Seoul’s spy agency for “devising a sinister plot” to engage in “religious persecution,” Yonhap reported.