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May 20, 2011

‘US evangelist beaten up in N Korea’

Lahore

May 20, 2011

SEOUL: An American detained in North Korea for apparent missionary work was severely beaten as part of investigations into underground Christian churches there, an acquaintance said on Thursday.
Eddie Jun Yong-Su, an ethnic Korean US citizen, had been engaged in “aggressive” missionary activities in the hard-line communist state, said Lim Chang-Ho, a professor at a South Korean theological college.
Lim told AFP that Jun and two ethnic Koreans with Chinese passports were arrested at the same time last November. “The two others were badly beaten but they were allowed to return home as they were Chinese nationals,” Lim said.
“According to them, Jun was beaten up so severely that he could hardly walk without help,” he said.
It was not possible to confirm the alleged mistreatment.
The North announced last month that Jun would be charged with unspecified crimes against the nation.
The Swedish embassy, which represents US interests in Pyongyang, has been given access to him, and the US State Department said this month the detainee had been allowed to speak to his family by phone.
Former US president Jimmy Carter appealed for Jun’s release when he visited the North last month. But the nominal head of state Kim Yong-Nam told Carter the detainee would not be freed.

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