Efforts to save the life of Son Jong Nam, a North Korean evangelist who faces a death sentence from the communist regime for practicing Christianity, will reach the State Department today, when Mr. Son's younger brother is scheduled to meet with administration officials and plead for their intervention.
Son Jong Nam fled North Korea for China with his wife, daughter, and nephew in 1998 after his pregnant wife was severely beaten by North Korean government interrogators, resulting in a miscarriage. She would later die from her injuries.
Mr. Son was converted to Christianity by Chinese missionaries and returned to North Korea to evangelize — a criminal act under the regime of Kim Jong-il. In 2001, Mr. Son was arrested by Communist Chinese authorities and extradited to North Korea. He was released in 2004, but then arrested again in 2006 and sentenced to public execution by the Kim regime.
Although the charges against Mr. Son — illegal border crossing, meeting with enemies of the state, and disseminating anti-state literature — are vague, advocates for him said he is essentially being executed because he is a Christian.
[The New York Sun]