Published On: Thu, Feb 20th, 2014

Christian missionary John Short missing in North Korea, taken from hotel by police

The wife of a Christian missionary from Australia is speaking out, claiming that she doesn’t know where he is or his condition after being “taken by police” from his hotel room in North Korea.

John Short, age 75, arrived in Pyongyang on Saturday and was taken from his hotel by local police days later.

John Short missionary Australia North Korea prisonWang Chong, traveling with Short, has told the ABC Short left pamphlet materials promoting Christianity on a tour of a Buddhist temple.

Authorities were informed later by Short’s local tour company of his action, which breaches North Korean laws against spreading religious material.

Adelaide Now reports that Short will face 15 years of hard labor in a North Korean prison camp.

Short’s wife, Karen, says she has had no contact from her husband since he left Hong Kong on Wednesday.

While she was not unwise to any danger, she was not frightened.

“We both knew before he went in what he was going into,” Karen Short told Fairfax Radio. “It’s a difficult country but as Christians that’s what we do – you go into the difficult places to make a difference.”

“I would love him to be home but I know my husband and he is well able to face what he’s facing, I believe.”

She said her husband went to Pyongyang because he wanted to help locals in “a dark and difficult place”.

Tony Abbott said the Australian government did what it could to help citizens in trouble, but warned Australians not to break the laws of countries they visit.

“I do have this message for Australians abroad: you do have to be careful to obey the laws of the country you’re in,” the prime minister said in Sydney on Thursday. “Not all countries have the same legal system or the same laws as Australia.”

The Chinese travel company that booked Short’s trip said it had been told he had admitted to travelling to North Korea for purposes other than tourism.

He had missed a planned visit of local sites with the tour company on the third day of the trip.

“So the North Koreans could have become even more suspicious that he wasn’t there as a tourist,” a BTG employee, Han Weiping, told the ABC.

It was Short’s second trip to North Korea and he was due home on Thursday.

Karen Short said she does not know what her husband was doing, why he was charged or his whereabouts.

She said her husband is an author who writes and translates into Asian languages and had spent 50 years there, mainly in China but also Myanmar and Vietnam.

“This is his life work. He loves China, he loves Chinese and worked in Asia in the difficult areas where people have real deep need,” she said.


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON


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