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China Detains Pastors for Helping N.Korean Refugees

Chinese police arrested two South Korean Christian pastors, accusing them of helping North Korean defectors to leave China, United Press International reports.

The arrests come amid growing tensions between South Korea and China. The communist country has been opposing the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea, saying it would threaten the security in the region.

Pastor Peter Jung, head of the Justice for North Korea in Seoul, said, “The arrested pastors openly stated to Chinese authorities they were helping North Korean defectors out of fear they would be subject to inhumane treatment if repatriated to the North.”

Since the United States and South Korea agreed to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, the Chinese government has targeted South Korean companies by imposing selective sanctions.

Business Insider reports that “Chinese citizens have been protesting and boycotting South Korean businesses and tourism.”

Yonhap news agency said one of the pastors was arrested with his wife and children at Qingdao airport. The second pastor was arrested with his wife at a hotel in the northeastern city of Qinhuangdao.

Pastor Peter Jung, head of the Justice for North Korea in Seoul, said, “The arrested pastors openly stated to Chinese authorities they were helping North Korean defectors out of fear they would be subject to inhumane treatment if repatriated to the North.”

Jung added that the Chinese authorities have released the wives, but the pastors remained in detention. They are planning to charge the religious clerics of human smuggling.

Sources:
Upicom. (2017). UPI. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/03/15/China-arrests-Christian-missionaries-for-North-Korea-activities/4591489581976/

Reuterscom. (2017). Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-china-northkorea-idUSKBN16M18U

Businessinsidercom. (2017). Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/china-south-korea-economic-boycott-protests-over-thaad-missile-system-2017-3

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