Couple accused of spying had ties to North Korea

Canada's Kevin Garratt (2nd R), his wife Julia Dawn Garatt (2nd L) and his children Peter and...

Canada's Kevin Garratt (2nd R), his wife Julia Dawn Garatt (2nd L) and his children Peter and Hannah, pose for a family picture in Dandong, in this undated handout provided to Reuters by Kevin's son Simeon Garatt. REUTERS/Simeon Garatt/Handout via Reuters

Nicole Mordant and Cameron French, Reuters

, Last Updated: 9:06 PM ET

VANCOUVER/TORONTO - A Canadian couple detained in China amid spying allegations made regular trips to deliver goods to North Korea, their close friend and pastor said on Wednesday, and set up a British Columbia-based organization to collect funds for their work.

Rich Kao, head minister at a small church just outside Vancouver that backs the Garratt's North Korea-focused charity, North Star Aid, said the trips were humanitarian ventures.

Kao said the Garratts, who moved to China in 1984, had been doing missionary work in the country but came back to Canada about seven years ago. Soon after, they joined his church and then launched North Star Aid, the North Korea-focused aid group that has come under the spotlight since news of the Garratts' detention emerged.

 


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