Religionists “spam faxing” DPRK

UPDATE: A detail oriented reader has pointed out that there is no DPRK embassy in Helsinki.  It was closed, and DPRK-Finnish relations have been handled from the DPRK’s embassy in Stockholm. See the comments below for more. 

According to the Voice of the Martyrs web page:

An anonymous fax believed to have been sent from the North Korean embassy for Finland promises workers affiliated with The Voice of the Martyrs (USA) that “something very bad will happen to you” if VOM continues a special project to share the Gospel via weekly fax transmissions to government and business representatives of the restricted Asian nation.

During the past year VOM has made an effort to collect as many fax numbers as possible inside North Korea, one of the world’s most isolated nations. VOM sends weekly faxes containing Christian messages and Scripture passages on love and forgiveness to each of the fax numbers.

Apparently, the project has touched a nerve at the highest levels of North Korea’s repressive government.

“We know who you are,” begins a fax, written in Korean but without a signature. “We warn you that if you send this kind of dirty fax again something very bad will happen to you. Don’t do something you will regret.”

The threatening fax came to a VOM-affiliated office just days before two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, were sentenced to 12 years hard labor for allegedly crossing the border into North Korea. It came just one day after the latest round of faxes sent by VOM to North Korean fax numbers.

“This fax is good news,” said Todd Nettleton, VOM’s director of Media Development and the author of a book on the history of Christianity in North Korea. “This means that the faxes are getting through, and they are being read. It is highly unlikely that this type of response would have been made from an embassy without some approval from Pyongyang.”

The Voice of the Martyrs exists to serve persecuted Christians living in restricted nations, and to help spread the gospel in those nations. The ministry has been active in North Korea for decades, including launching tens of thousands of “Scripture Balloons,” helium filled balloons that are printed with Scripture passages and other gospel messages.

The most recent fax sent to North Korean businesses and government offices included stories of Christians loving Communists — even the Communists who abused or tortured them. It was taken from the writings of Richard Wurmbrand, VOM’s founder who was held for 14 years in communist prisons in Romania.

“North Korea presents some great challenges, but the Good News of Jesus’ love cannot be stopped,” said Nettleton. “We simply have to find more creative ways to deliver that message, and The Voice of the Martyrs is committed to doing that.”

A PDF of the fax can be seen here.

Here is an English translation of the faxes the religious group is sending.

Coverage of the story in Chairstian Today.

Josh suggests some non-religious messages.


4 Responses to “Religionists “spam faxing” DPRK”

  1. Gerald Ingle says:

    Perhaps, as Josh suggests, VOM should include a picture of Kim Jong Il or Kim Il Sung at the top of the fax. So as not to confuse the intended reader that the faxes are either of the Kim’s words, perhaps a prohibitive, red “circle with a line through it” could be used…..Good luck VOM

  2. Gavin says:

    I’d be worried about innocent people being punished if one of these faxes is found lying around.

  3. 1. Just a detail, but as I understand it NK has closed its embassy in Helsinki and now covers the four Nordic countries from Stockholm.

    2. Watch the typos, guys. From Christian to chair stain?!

  4. NKeconWatch says:

    I believe you are right. I have located the DPRK’s embassy in Stockholm, but cannot find a location for Helsinki.

    Also, this article backs up your claim that DPRK-Finnish relations are carried out through Stockholm: