(Church in Chains) — Chinese Christian Jang Moon Seok, an ethnic Korean who ministered to North Koreans in China, was abducted in November 2014, brought across the border into North Korea and sentenced to 15 years in prison. In April 2020, as he passed his 2,000th day in prison, Voice of the Martyrs Korea launched a campaign calling for his release.
Jang Moon Seok, also known by his Chinese name Zhang Wen Shi, lived in Changbai, a Chinese town on the border with North Korea, and ministered as a deacon alongside Korean-Chinese pastor Han Chung-Ryeol among North Koreans who crossed the border into China.
Changbai Korean Autonomous County, Jilin province, is located opposite North Korea’s Hyesan City across the Tumen River, which is a key point for cross-border movement by defectors and traders.
Voice of the Martyrs reports that although it is illegal to cross into China without permission, North Koreans often visit Chinese border towns to buy goods for resale in North Korea, to seek medicine or other help and to conduct business.