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North Korea releases video of missionary from South accused of spying

Published on Feb 27, 2014 4:54 PM

SEOUL (REUTERS) - A South Korean missionary held in North Korea said he had committed crimes against the state in a bid to establish an underground church, according to video footage provided by the North's state news agency on Thursday.

The South Korean missionary, identified by the North as Kim Jong Uk, 50, spoke at what appeared to be a stage-managed news conference from beneath portraits of North Korea's former leaders Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung.

His sudden appearance was a surprise after signs of warming ties between the two Koreas evidenced by the reunions of families split by the 1950-53 war between the two sides and Seoul's humanitarian offer to support vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease for the North.

"Since I first arrived in Dandong, China, in August 2007, I had thought a lot about sneaking into Pyongyang," Kim said in the video.

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