A North Korean source reported on June 30th that a fifty-year-old Chinese-Korean businessman from Tumen City, forcibly detained by North Korean security agency for the last two months after entering the North on business, has been given a sentence of seven years imprisonment with hard labor.
The man, who has been trading with the North for two decades, entered Namyang in Onsong County, North Hamgyeong province, in mid April by car. The source said he was forcibly detained by the special investigation unit under a provincial office of National Security Agency's counterespionage department. The North Korean authorities have not made any report to the Chinese and so the man's family and close relatives have been in the dark about his fate.
Reporting on the facts of his detention and the result of his trial is completely one-sided. The source relates that since immediately after his arrest, the man has been held at the Onsong County security agency detention center. Just a few days ago he was sentenced to seven years hard labor. His alleged crime is consorting with North Korean defectors whilst engaged in trading activities with the country. He was found guilty of engaging in hostile activities against the state. "The North Korean side unilaterally informed China of the result of its "own North Korean way of justice" while completely neglecting all standard legal formalities and wholly omitting any mention of the facts surrounding his detention or alleged criminal activity."
The source reported that while in detention the man survived on a few ears of corn a day and that he is covered from head to foot in wounds inflicted as his confession was beaten out of him. Currently he is in a state of complete isolation due in part to the reluctance that North Korean security agencies have in revealing any aspect of their machinations to the outside world.
"In as much is North Korea ignores international law and is a complete wasteland with regard to human rights," said the source, "ethnic Koreans from China doing business there can be arrested and detained at will. Such abnormal actions are a daily occurrence." The source said that on average there are about ten cases of Chinese Korean traders being detained by the North every year.
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