SEOUL, May 16 (UPI) -- A Christian minister of South Korean nationality is missing, and could have possibly been abducted to the North in March.
A South Korean source who spoke to local newspaper Donga Ilbo on the condition of anonymity said that according to multiple sources the minister – who was also a defector – was last seen in the Chinese city of Helong in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin Province.
From there he was kidnapped to North Korea, the source said.
In early May, South Korean media stated a South Korean national and missionary went missing March 28 in the border area.
Seoul's foreign and unification ministries confirmed the minister with the surname Kim is missing, but has yet to verify whether he was abducted to North Korea.
The news follows statements from a South Korea-based activist group that claimed North Korean agents killed a Korean-Chinese minister for assisting refugees.
South Korea has urged all citizens to avoid travel to northeastern China in areas close to North Korea, and called on South Korean tour operators to scale back activities in regions where kidnappings have been reported.
North Korea has also targeted Americans in the country, holding them in custody for a variety of offenses that are believed to be challenging the regime.
Pyongyang is currently detaining two Americans for "anti-state" crimes, and the U.S. State Department has stepped up its warnings on North Korea, CNN reported.
The State Department strongly discouraged travel to North Korea for all U.S. citizens Friday, because of the arbitrary arrests for acts deemed to be "showing disrespect" to the country's past and present leaders.