A South Korean Baptist missionary has been sentenced to hard labor for life in North Korea after he was convicted of spying and setting up an underground church.
North Korea’s state news agency said the man, named as Kim Jong-uk, had confessed to all his crimes.
Pyongyang is still holding another missionary, US citizen Kenneth Bae, who received 15 years hard labor in 2013.
Religious activity is restricted in North Korea, with missionaries arrested on multiple occasions in the past.
“Mr. Kim tried to infiltrate into Pyongyang after illegally trespassing on the border for the purpose of setting up an underground church and gathering information about the internal affairs of the DPRK [North Korea] while luring its inhabitants into South Korea and spying on the DPRK,” the KCNA news agency said.
The prosecution had reportedly been seeking a death sentence for the 50-year-old missionary.
The ruling comes three months after Kim Jong-uk read aloud a public apology on North Korean TV for his “anti-state crimes”.
Kim Jong-uk was arrested after crossing into North Korea from China last October.
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