Christian escapes repatriation to North Korea

( [email protected] ) Dec 19, 2007 01:30 PM EST

Yoo Sang-joon, a North Korean Christian who was put on trial in China for helping North Korean refugees has been repatriated to South Korea, where he also holds citizenship.

Mr Yoo devoted his life to helping North Korean refugees to escape from the oppressive state following a series of personal tragedies. While living in North Korea, the famine in the country claimed the lives of both his wife and his youngest son.

Desperate to avoid the same fate, Yoo attempted to escape the country together with his remaining son Chul Min. Although both escaped the country,they ere forced to separate on the way. Chul Min, 10, weakened by famine and dehydration, died while trying to cross the Mongolian border.

Yoo eventually escaped to South Korea where he was given citizenship. However, his faith and his own experiences led him to try to help others fleeing North Korea. He was captured by Chinese authorities and was to be put on trial on 26 November 2007.

However, Christian Groups such as Asialink campaigned and prayed for Mr Yoo to be repatriated back to South Korea rather than face deportation to his native North Korea where he would almost certainly be killed upon arrival.

Following his ordeal, Yoo has now been released and is safely back in South Korea.

Andrew Dudgeon of Asialink UK said, “Many prayed and we are confident in God's hand in all of this. The outcome is quite astounding given the other real possibilities that existed.”