A 35-year old ethnic Korean was detained on Friday over his role in the kidnapping of the Rev. Kim Dong-shik, a prominent Christian leader, in 2000. Rev. Kim disappeared in Yanji, China, near the border of North Korea.
It has been long speculated that Rev. Kim was abducted by the North Korean agents. His work involved helping North Korean escape starvation and persecution by fleeing into Mongolia through China, and he was a marked target by Pyongyang.
A South Korean investigator in the case told the nation’s Yonhap news agency on Tuesday that the suspect “was trained in Pyongyang” indicating North Korean ties. “Nearly 10 North Korean agents and other assistants are believed to have conspired to abduct Kim” the investigator added.
The suspect is thought to have entered South Korea in August of 2001 to serve as a laborer before he was spotted by North Korean defectors and reported to the authorities. Even today, Dong-shik’s whereabouts are still unknown.