The Government has continued to express its “strong concerns” at the religious persecution taking place in North Korea, after harrowing details were revealed in a report earlier this year.
Government minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said: “Defending the right to freedom of religion or belief for all is a priority for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office”.
The report, released earlier this year by the Korea Future Initiative (KFI), details accounts of believers being arrested for attending underground church services, sharing their faith and owning a Bible.
North Korean Christians are subject to arbitrary detention, sexual abuse, forced abortion, brutal torture and summary execution.
In his response, Lord Ahmad said that the report was a “valuable contribution towards ensuring that human rights violations in North Korea are documented for accountability and deterrence purposes.”
He added: “My officials would welcome the opportunity to discuss KFI’s report with them in greater detail.”
He also announced that two entities overseeing the North Korean penal system were facing UK sanctions in response to the Bishop of Truro’s review of Christian persecution.
It comes as the North Korean Human Rights Information Centre released a report indicating that more North Koreans are accessing the Bible.
It found that the number of people who have seen a Bible had risen by four per cent since 2000.
In the same period, 559 North Korean defectors said they had read a Bible, compared with only 16 before 2000.