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North Korea denies connection to alleged murder of Christian pastor

South Korea is "yammering up clichés," the North said.

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korea denies connection to alleged murder of Christian pastor
A North Korean restaurant near the China-North Korea border in Dandong, China. North Korea condemned Seoul after South Korean activists said Pyongyang sent agents to murder a Christian pastor who helped North Korean defectors. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, May 5 (UPI) -- North Korea slammed the South after activists said North Korean agents murdered a Christian pastor in China.

Pyongyang's propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri released a statement Thursday calling the claims "absurd anti-North Korean sophistry," South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

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North Korea called the move a plot to overthrow the regime.

"After the murder of Pastor Han [Chungryeol] on April 30, the puppet authorities are once again yammering up clichés about the North," the statement read.

Uriminzokkiri targets a South Korean audience.

Pyongyang also called Seoul a chronic abuser of the North, and said the South retreats into North Korean stereotypes whenever public opinion turns against the government.

North Korea also said the South had engaged in a group kidnapping, a possible reference to the defection of 13 North Koreans from a state-run restaurant in China.

"The truth will be revealed," Pyongyang said. "The South Korean authorities are addicted to dirty slander...but their anti-human rights crimes can never be concealed."

On Monday, South Korean activists had told press the Korean-Chinese minister had been murdered for assisting North Korean defectors in China.

As part of investigations, China's public security officials are interrogating a woman, a possible informant, linked to Han's sudden disappearance.

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Activists said prior to the development the North had sent three agents across the border into the neighboring Chinese province of Jilin.

"We received news the pastor had been murdered," the activists have said.

After taking Han's life, the agents returned to the North, they said.

South Korean news service News 1 reported the pastor founded Jangbaek Church in Jilin in 1993.

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