(Exclusive) Korean missionary arrested by Russia on ‘spy charges’ helped North Korean trade representative’s family defect from North Korea – TV Chosun VRESP TODAY

Baek, a missionary who became the first Korean to be arrested on espionage charges in Russia earlier this year, was found to have helped the family of a North Korean trade representative in an attempt to escape from North Korea last year.

Russia raised suspicions of espionage at the time of Baek’s arrest, but it is possible that the influence of North Korean authorities was actually involved in preventing workers dispatched overseas from leaving.

According to intelligence authorities on the 5th, Mr. Baek led the defection attempt of the wife and son of Mr. Park, a North Korean trade representative dispatched to Vladivostok, Russia, in June last year.

This incident received attention from the international community when Russian public security authorities even released a leaflet asking for the missing mother and son.

As a result, these mother and son were said to have been arrested by Russian authorities, and our intelligence authorities understand that during this process, North Korean and Russian authorities identified Baek’s identity and shared the information.

It has been reported that North Korea is strengthening crackdowns following a series of recent riots by workers dispatched overseas.

Analysis suggests that as part of strengthening crackdowns, the North Korean authorities may have requested the arrest of Mr. Baek, who is assisting workers dispatched from Russia to defect from North Korea.

An intelligence official predicted, “In the future, threats from North Korea and Russia against religious groups and human rights groups that support North Korean defections will continue to grow stronger.”

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