Bishop of Peterborough Raises Plight of Missionaries in North Korea

On 18th March 2014 Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the findings of the United Nations commission of inquiry into human rights in North Korea.”

The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Rev Donald Allister, asked a supplementary question:14.02 Peterborough

The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, can the Minister confirm recent reports of the possible execution of 33 people for allegedly plotting to overthrow the regime by their association with the South Korean missionary, Kim Jung-wook? What efforts are being made to urge the North Korean authorities not to proceed with such executions and to respect freedom of religion?

Baroness Warsi: We are aware of these terrible reports. Of course, this relates to the suspicion that these individuals were involved with the creation of an underground church under the support of Kim Jung-wook, a South Korean who was arrested by the DPRK last year. As noble Lords are aware, freedom of religion and belief is a key priority for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and we make those views clear to the North Koreans. I am sure that the right reverend Prelate will accept that we have only so many mechanisms with which to make our opinions known on this matter.