The leaders of the DPRK have been making very strong statements regarding human rights. A representative from the North Korean government has stated in a speech that the U.S. is a ‘living Hell’ and that Christian missionaries are actively participating in human trafficking, terrorism and other forms of anti-government activity within North Korea.
Many Christian NGOs and other human rights organizations pointed to the fact that North Korea is blaming Christians for the state and reputation of their nation. A North Korean ambassador called So Se Pyong at a debate before the Council of Geneva stated that "There are in the northeastern area of China so-called churches and priests exclusively engaged in hostile acts against the DPRK. They indoctrinate the illegal border crossers with anti-DPRK ideology and send them back to the DPRK with assignments of subversion, destruction, human trafficking and even terrorist acts."
In reality however, many organizations including Open Doors have recognized that North Korea has the worst persecutions of Christians in the world. However, it is not only Christians that face these kinds of hardships. If a citizen was suspected even a little to have affiliation with the outside world, or even to have complaints against the government, that person and his entire extended family will be sent to North Korea’s notorious penal labor camps.
Christians are forced to meet in secret in underground churches, being unable to pray aloud or even sing hymns. Most members of the congregation even memorize whole books of the Bible for they cannot be found carrying one.
Missionaries operating to spread the Gospel to North Korean citizens are also facing increased pressure not only from DPRK but even the Chinese government. Eric Foley (Seoul USA) had this to say: "If North Korea is pointing to missionaries operating in China as a source of potential North Korean instability, and if it is alleging that China is the host, then missionaries can expect an increasing crackdown on churches and discipleship bases reaching North Koreans."
In fact, it is well-known that China is sending North Korean defectors back to their country where they are highly likely to face instant death or forced labor and torture.