Pastor imprisoned for molesting young escapees from North Korea sexually


A pastor from South Korea, who was once praised for helping hundreds of North Koreans escape, has been put in prison for sexually hurting young people who had fled from North Korea.

Chun Ki-won, 67, has been given a five-year prison sentence for touching children inappropriately at the school he ran in Seoul.

For many years, people saw the pastor as a saviour. They called him an “Asian Schindler” and said his operations were like an “Underground Railroad” for people escaping the North’s government.

He got caught by the police in Seoul in September.

The police said he did something bad to six teenagers from North Korea. They were staying at the school he started.

Chun said he didn’t do it, but the court decided the victims’ proof was undeniable.

“The victims are saying the same things, and it includes details that only someone who experienced the situation first-hand would know,” said Judge Seung-jeong Kim of the Seoul Central District Court.

The judge said that Chun did bad things when he had a lot of power.

He was found to have done bad things to kids in five out of six cases. Some of the kids had run away by themselves, and others had left with their families who were helped by Chun’s mission.

Chun started Durihana, a well-known charity in South Korea that helps North Koreans escape through China.

He says he has helped over 1,000 North Koreans get away from the strict Kim family rule in the last 25 years. Pyongyang has criticized him for his work.

In 2002, he was in the news because he was put in prison in China for seven months while trying to escape.

He set up a school for kids whose parents left North Korea. Many news outlets, like BBC and CNN, made stories about his work.

The media often said he was like Oskar Schindler, who saved over 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust.

South Korea is really surprised by his arrest and conviction, and everyone’s been talking about his trial this week.

The news on TV showed an older person named Chun wearing a white outfit and being taken to court with handcuffs on, surrounded by guards.


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