South Korea on Saturday released a dissident pastor who was jailed last year for making an unauthorized trip to North Korea in 1989, a prison official said. Moon Ik-hwan, 72, was released from a hospital in southwestern Chonju where he was having a check-up. He has a heart condition.
Moon was serving a seven-year jail term at a Chonju prison, reduced from the original 10 years, for breaking South Korea's harsh anti-communist National Security Law, which bans unofficial contact with the communist North.
The prison official gave no more details about the release of Moon, a Protestant minister and adviser to the nationwide dissident organization Chonminyon.
But South Korea's domestic news agency Yonhap said he was released because of his health.