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April 16, 2014

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South Korean minister jailed in North seeks mercy

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 | 7:20 p.m.

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — A South Korean Baptist missionary who was arrested for allegedly trying to establish underground Christian churches in North Korea has told reporters he is sorry for his "anti-state" crimes and appealed to North Korean authorities to show him mercy by releasing him from their custody.

Kim Jeong-uk told a news conference Thursday that he was arrested in October after entering the North from China and trying to make his way to Pyongyang with bibles, Christian instructional materials and movies. He said he had received assistance from South Korea's intelligence agency.

He said he was unsure what punishment he would face. He asked for the mercy of North Korean authorities and said he requested the news conference to show his family he is in good health.