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North Korea Shows Progress on Nuclear Issue, but Mr. Son and Thousands Face Death for Faith

Son Jong Nam Awaits Public Execution; Global Campaign Mounted to Save Life

Contact: Alex Coffin, 704-364-2049

Son Jong Nam, April 2004, Yeongil, China

MEDIA ADVISORY, July 17 /Christian Newswire/ -- International inspectors have reported that North Korea has shut down a key nuclear reactor, but religious and human rights organizations and leading elected officials are now urging the world to insist that the North Koreans show progress in the area of religious liberty.

The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), an international organization that assists persecuted Christians around the world, has launched a worldwide campaign to free Son Jong Nam, who is awaiting public execution in North Korea simply because of his Christian faith.

A former North Korean Army officer who escaped to China, but returned to his native country as an underground evangelist, Son has been beaten, tortured and held in a bleak, death row basement jail in the capital city, Pyongyang. While his case is remarkable, Son is just one of thousands jailed and facing death in North Korea and around the world.

VOM was been joined in the initiative by U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), a noted supporter of human rights for North Korean refugees, and other congressional leaders.

Mr. Son's brother and Sen. Brownback appeared at a news conference in Washington, D.C., last week to plead the case.

VOM is calling on people in the United States and around the world to go to www.prisoneralert.com to write letters and send emails on Son Jong Nam's behalf to North Korean officials, the United Nations, the U.S. Department of State and their elected officials.

"We are asking for prayers for Mr. Son, but also that people take action on his behalf," said Todd Nettleton, director of media development for VOM. "Each and every letter and email can make a difference.

"All religions have been harshly repressed in North Korea," said Nettleton. "Thousands of Christians have been murdered since the Korean War. Those who practice their faith must do so in deep secrecy and are in constant danger."

Mr. Nettleton, who is available for your show, is well-versed on Mr. Son's situation, as well as current political and human rights conditions regarding North Korea.

To book Mr. Nettleton for your program or show, contact Alex Coffin of InChrist Communications Inc. at 704/364-2049 or ACoffin@InChristCommunications.com.  

For a complete press kit on Mr. Son's situation and VOM's campaign, go to www.persecution.com/media.