A Christian missionary who went missing could have been kidnapped to North Korea, an anonymous South Korean source told local newspaper Dong-a Ilbo.
The Christian minister, a defector who went missing on March 28, was last spotted in Helong in Jilin Province. The source said the minister was kidnapped from there and was taken to North Korea, UPI.com relays.
The information on the missing Christian minister comes after a South Korean activist group accused North Korea of sending agents across the border to kill a Korean-Chinese minister who helped defectors.
In response to the report, Seoul's foreign and unification ministries confirmed that the Christian minister with the surname Kim is indeed missing. However, they have not yet confirmed if he was taken by force to North Korea.
Meanwhile, South Korea has issued a statement telling local tour agencies to discourage citizens from visiting places near the North Korean border amidst the high-alert status of the country. The warning stems from concerns about possible kidnappings or terror attacks on South Koreans, according to Yonhap News Agency.
"Given a series of recent North Korea threats, there is a possibility of various types of attacks, such as abduction and terror, on our people who visit (to) or stay in the North Korea-China border regions including Mount Paektu," said Deputy Minister for Overseas Koreans Han Dong-man.
Han cited Pyongyang's repeated threats of retaliation after 13 North Korean restaurant workers defected to the South last month. The North is demanding the repatriation of the defectors.
In light of the situation, Han requested the tour agencies to explain the security risks involved in visiting the said areas. Particular areas of concern include the North Korea-China border areas, especially the location of Mount Paektu and the Koguryo Kingdom relics.
The minister said they just want to prevent accidents or certain incidents with other countries. Han also said problems involving North Korea are particularly difficult to handle.