ROK and Inter-Korean relations
Pyongyangites Welcome S. Korean Defector
Pyongyang, February 23 (KCNA) -- Pyongyangites
warmly welcomed Kim Ki Ho who came over to the
north at a mass meeting held Tuesday. Kim, 60,
came over to the north recently while serving as
a civilian employee at a unit of the U.S. forces
in south Korea.
Kim Jong Sik, vice-chairman of the Pyongyang
City People's Committee, in a welcome speech
said that Kim Ki Ho's defection to the north was
an expression of his longing for the north and
his will to join the sacred Songun revolutionary
ranks whose members are single-mindedly united
around the headquarters of the revolution.
Kim would have an opportunity to fully enjoy a
worthwhile and rewarding life as a citizen of
the DPRK which has made a dynamic advance,
demonstrating its dignity thanks the
unquestioned prestige of Kim Jong Il, Songun
illustrious commander of Mt. Paektu, noted Kim
Scandals Rock schools
Teachers Involved in Cheating, Manipulation of
By Chung Ah-young
The prosecution Friday brought Sogang
University's admissions scandal to an end by
arresting two professors involved.
Sogang University chancellor Ryu Jang-son and 17
faculty members tendered their resignations on
Thursday, taking responsibility for the school's
S. Koreans Revising Image of Nation's Elite
Film, Truth Panel Seen by Some as Attack on Wealthy
By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, February 13, 2005; Page A29
SEOUL -- The politically charged film "The President's Last Bang" is a shot at
the heart of the South Korean establishment.
The main target: Park Chung Hee, the South Korean president, conservative icon
and former military leader who was gunned down in 1979 after 18 years in power.
Park was venerated by conservatives as a hero who faced down communist North
Korea while turning his country into an economic success. But the film, which
opened this month to cheers and jeers, casts him as a philandering drunk with a
traitorous soft spot for Korea's former occupiers, the Japanese.
South Korea's wealthy elite -- represented by Park's ministers, aides and
henchmen -- are portrayed as degenerates torturing communists and gorging on
luxury foods, excessive drink and easy women while displaying disregard for the
common man. More than a lashing administered by one director, the movie
captures the national mood.
Defense aide faces renewed scrutiny
February 23, 2005 ? Following a Blue House
announcement that it intended to review the
alleged role Deputy Defense Minister Yoo Hyo-il
may have played as an Army officer in crushing
the democracy movement in 1980, Mr. Yoo
protested yesterday that he had been tried and
acquitted long ago of any involvement.
[human rights] [Kwangju]
Joint Dictionary Compilation Committee
Mt. Kumgang Resort, February 21 (KCNA) -- An
inaugural ceremony of the Joint Compilation
Committee for "Large Korean Dictionary" was held
at Mt. Kumgang resort on Feb. 20. Congratulatory
addresses and speeches were made.
Mun Yong Ho, director of the Philology Institute
of the Academy of Social Sciences who is
chairman of the north side, in his speech
recalled that President Kim Il Sung said
meaningful words more than 30 years back that
exchange and collaboration between scholars of
the north and the south should start in the
field of philology, to begin with, and gave a
valuable teaching on making a dictionary of the
unified national language when receiving Rev.
Mun Ik Hwan on a visit to Pyongyang.
Candlelight Vigil Organizer Convicted of Illegal
By Kim Rahn
The Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a guilty
verdict to the organizer of candlelight vigils
for two Korean schoolgirls who were killed by an
armored vehicle of the U.S. army in 2002.
Upholding a lower court ruling, the top court
sentenced Kim Chong-il to 18 months in jail with
the term suspended for two years for organizing
Kim was indicted on charges of organizing
rallies and candlelight vigils for the girls in
Seoul without prior permission from police over
14 times from July 2002 through October 2003, as
well as occupying streets and beating police
officers during the rallies.
Koreas Argue Over Novel's Copyright
By Lee Yong-sung
Copyright issues between the two Koreas might be set for a solution as a
copyright claim raised in the North about a best-selling novel is accelerating
Sakyejul, the publisher of the late novelist Hong Myong-hee's ``Im Kkok-jong''
has announced that it would be willing to sign a copyright agreement with the
original North Korean copyright holder of the book should it receive a formal
Having defected to the North during the Korean War, Hong, who is also well
known with his pen name of Pyokcho, gained popularity through the novel when it
was published serially in the Chosun Ilbo in the late 1920s.
Kim Dae-jung prepared to go to North, if asked
February 22, 2005 ? Reviving his desire to play
an active role in relations between North and
South Korea, former President Kim Dae-jung said
yesterday that if he were invited to visit
Pyeongyang, he is prepared to discuss a range of
issues concerning the Korean Peninsula.
"Since the dialogue between the two Koreas isn't
working well, I can do my part to resolve the
current stalemate in the relationship," Mr. Kim
said in an interview with MBC Radio, a South
Responding to a question about Pyeongyang's
latest statement that it was abandoning talks
over its development of nuclear arms, the former
president called the announcement unexpected and
said that in light of international expectations
the North's action was problematic.
Mr. Kim reiterated what he said earlier this
month that Pyeongyang should return to the
Missing Raft Located in Russian Waters
By Lee Jin-woo
A South Korean raft, which had been missing in
North Korean territorial waters for about two
days, was found in the North's eastern sea
yesterday afternoon, maritime police said.
The 4.5 meter-wide and 11 meter-long raft
weighing 11 tons was on a voyage exploring
theories about the Palhae Kingdom (698-926),
traveling from the Russian port of Posiet near
Vladivostok to Niigata in Japan.
The Korea Coast Guard said its patrol plane,
which took off at 12:30 p.m. from Kimpo Airport
after obtaining approval from the North, located
the raft in the North Korean sea, 243 miles
north of the Tokto islets in the East Sea, at
Last month, North Korea accepted a similar South
Korean request for permission to search for a
vessel missing in its territorial waters in the
Ewha Tops University Performance Ranking
By Chung Ah-young
Ewha Womans University has ranked first in an
evaluation of the performance of major
institutions of higher learning in Korea carried
out by the Korean Council for University
Ewha scored 97.75 points out of 100, followed by
Hanyang University's Seoul campus with 96.76 and
Hanyang University's Ansan campus with 95.6.
South, North Korean Scholars Launch Joint
By Kim Tae-jong
About 40 scholars, poets and politicians from
South and North Korea gathered Sunday at Mt.
Kumgang in the North to launch a project to
publish the first unified Korean dictionary in
half a century.
At the ceremony, South Korean poet Ko Un, who
will head the joint committee for the project,
recited his poem entitled ``Let Us See Each
Other as We Look at Mount. Kumgang,'' and said
``the publication of the dictionary is to unify
the people in both countries, protect their
lives, sweep away all the vestiges of Japanese
imperialism and heal the pain of division.''
The project was first proposed in 1989 by the
late South Korean Rev. Moon Ik-hwan during his
controversial visit to Pyongyang. However, no
concrete steps were taken until some committee
members met in December and established a list
of conditions agreed to by both sides.
Although the people of the two Koreas speak the
same language, the difference in the two
countries' use of it has grown in the 50 years
since division, with many words having been
added to each nations' vocabularies.
Fisherman in NK Wants to Come Home
By Park Song-wu
A South Korean fisherman, who was abducted in
the West Sea by a North Korean patrol boat 18
years ago, is still alive and wants to come back
home, a civic group leader in Seoul said
Im Kuk-jae, 54, failed to escape the North twice
and is presumed to be detained at a labor camp,
said Choi Sung-young, head of a group of South
Korean families seeking the safe return of their
relatives abducted by the North.
``Im tried to escape the North in September 2003
and April the next year, but failed to make it
because his family in the North reported it (to
security officials),'' Choi told reporters.
Seoul Must Clarify Policy Towards Pyongyang
Asheville, N.C., the United States
The South Korean government seems to be between
a rock and a hard place among foreign countries
regarding the North Korea's declaration of its
possession of nuclear weapons, being able to end
economic aid and cooperation with North Korea
although seemingly unwilling to do so.
If my guess is correct _ and I hope it is correct _ the reason why Seoul wants
to continue with cooperation is because we are still one Korea, and we want to
help people in the North despite the nuclear issue. This is the right thing for
us to do. This is what really can be called a ``humanitarian approach,'' as
reinforced by Shin Hye-seong of the Ministry of Unification in a letter to the
editor on Jan. 10.
Vice Defense Minister Accused of Role in 1980 Suppression
By Shim Jae-yun
The presidential office said yesterday that it will closely examine the role of
Vice Defense Minister Yoo Hyo-il in the bloody suppression of a civil uprising
in Kwangju in 1980, before deciding whether to take action against him.
'French Gang Killed Ex-Intelligence Chief'
By Kim Rahn
A local monthly magazine has reported that Kim
Hyong-uk, former chief of the state spy agency,
was killed by a French gang in October 1979
after being lured to Paris by a Korean
intelligence agent disguising himself as a
student studying there.
Quoting former high-ranking officials of the
agency and former Millennium Democratic Party
(MDP) lawmaker Kim Kyung-jae, who wrote Kim's
memoirs, the Monthly Chosun said that the gang
dumped Kim's body and the agent paid them for
the contract murder.
Kim, who helped Gen. Park Chung-hee in the 1961
military coup, was chief of the Korean Central
Intelligence Agency (KCIA), predecessor of the
National Intelligence Service (NIS), between
1963 and 1969.
However, he fled to the United States in 1973
after then President Park lost confidence in
him. Later in Paris in 1979, Kim mysteriously
disappeared at the age of 55 after being spotted
at a casino club.
Rumors have lingered over his whereabouts and
some suspected KCIA agents might have kidnapped
and killed him at Park's command as Kim
attempted to testify against the Park to the
U.S. Congress. [Park Chung-hee] [Terrorism]
Helicopter Project to Start in December
By Jung Sung-ki
The government will launch a multibillion-dollar procurement project to build
utility helicopters in December in partnership with foreign bidders, the
Ministry of National Defense said Friday.
The ministry said a total of 5 trillion won (some $4.5 billion) will be used
for the so-called Korean Helicopter Program (KHP), including the cost for
research and development. The project is aimed at producing hundreds of
helicopters to replace the country's aging fleet.
The arms procurement program, formerly dubbed the Korea Multi-Purpose
Helicopter (KMH), called for the development of some 500 military aircraft,
including 200 attack helicopters, by 2012. But the government has now
downscaled the project, following a re-examination of the project from last
September after civic organizations and the state audit agency raised questions
over its economic feasibility.
Fate of National Security Law
By Gillian Oak
The National Security Law, a source of ongoing
political debate since its inception in 1948, is
likely to be brought before the National
Assembly, in the hopes of reaching a conclusive
decision concerning its retention or demise.
However, until the threat from the North has
completely disappeared, the National Security
Law remains a legitimate measure of South Korean
protection. The threat has not abated and will
not for some time to come. Therefore, the
Security Law should remain in place.
** The writer is a senior in the School of
Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
rally in central Seoul
Action for Human Rights in North Korea: Human
rights activists from different countries shout
slogans to urge the Korean government to take
action against North Korea for its alleged human
rights infringements during a rally in central
Seoul on Wednesday. A man holds a picket that
reads: ``No to Beijing Olympics,'' denouncing
China for sending North Korean refugees back to
the Stalinist country. The protesters were
visiting Seoul to attend an international
conference on the North's human rights situation
organized by a local civic group.
South Korean Comedy to Film at Mt. Kumgang
By Park Chung-a
A movie that takes a comic look at the two
Koreas will become the first South Korean film
to be partially shot in the North.
``Brave Family (Kankun Kajok),'' a comedy about
a family pretending that the Koreas have been
reunified to please their dying father, is set
to shoot part of its story in the North,
according to Doosaboo Film, the production
company behind the movie.
``North Korea permitted the shooting because it
were interested in the film's message,'' he
Uri Party accuses lawmaker of torture
February 16, 2005 ? At a press conference
yesterday, Uri Party lawmakers and former
political activists accused a sitting member of
the National Assembly of torturing political
dissidents when he was an investigator with the
national spy agency.
The lawmakers and former dissidents said Chung
Hyung-gun, a lawmaker with the opposition Grand
National Party, beat activists when he was a
high-ranking investigator for the National
Intelligence Service in the 1980s and 1990s
International Forum on NK Human Rights
SEOUL (Yonhap) - A group of human rights experts
from around the world gathered in Seoul Monday
for a three-day forum to discuss human rights
conditions in North Korea.
Organized by several colleges and civic groups
in South Korea, the sixth International
Conference on North Korean Human Rights and
Refugees sheds light on the human rights abuse
that is prevalent in the communist state.
Banknote redesign may be in the works
February 15, 2005 ? In response to a rise in
counterfeiting, Korea's central bank is
considering redesigning the country's banknotes.
"It is difficult to curb the sharp increase in
the numbers of forged notes with the current
banknotes, whose basic designs were introduced
more than 20 years ago," a Bank of Korea
spokesman said yesterday. "We need to introduce
banknotes with new high-technology designs to
differentiate them from counterfeit notes," he
Forgeries have been rising as printing and
scanning technology has improved. Last year,
4,353 counterfeit notes were discovered
nationwide; that was an increase of 11.7 percent
from 2003, and 12 times higher than 1998's
figure. In the first four weeks of this year
alone, the central bank discovered 786 forged
Racial rules in military might be abolished
February 15, 2005 ? The Korean Military Manpower
Administration yesterday announced it was
proposing the lifting of restrictions on
military service by biracial South Koreans.
Among Korean males of Korean-Japanese and Korean-
Chinese parentage, only those who live with
their fathers are currently subject to the
military draft. Other biracial Korean men can't
join the military even on a voluntary basis.
Early Warning Aircraft Procurement Project to
By Yoon Won-sup
The Ministry of National Defense said Monday it
has decided to resume the stalled $1.9 billion
project of procuring early warning aircraft from
the zero base.
The ministry will receive bidders for the
project again in late March, and will select a
successful bidder in December through an open
The project, codenamed E-X, was initially
designed to improve the nation's independent
surveillance capabilities by acquiring four
early warning planes by 2011. But it had been
temporarily suspended after the bidding system
ran against its competitive basis.
Complete Liquidation of Conception of "Principal
Enemy" Demanded in S. Korea
Pyongyang, February 10 (KCNA) -- The Solidarity
for Implementation of the South-North Joint
Declaration in south Korea reportedly made
public a statement on Feb. 5, urging the
"Ministry of National Defense" to completely
liquidate the anti-national conception of the
"principal enemy" as demanded by the people who
want genuine unity between the south and the
north. Referring to the fact that the ministry
in its "white paper of national defense for
2004" issued on Feb. 4 changed the existing
expression of the "principal enemy, the north"
into "direct military threat such as
conventional military power, weapons of mass
destruction and forefront deployment of military
forces of the north," the statement said this is
only the change of expression and it still
remains unchanged in essence as it defined the
north as target of concrete military action.
The statement charged that today the principal
enemy and the forces of worst threat to peace
and stability of the Korean Peninsula is the
United States and the most "direct military
threat" is the relocation of the U.S. forces in
south Korea and arms buildup for a preemptive
attack on the north.
GNP Urges Probe Into Abduction of Pastor
By Park Song-wu
The main opposition Grand National Party (GNP)
plans to submit a bill to the National Assembly
today requiring the legislature to launch a
probe into North Korea's abduction of a South
The United States promised to pay attention to
the kidnapping of Rev. Kim Dong-shik at the
future six-party talks over the North's nuclear
programs, according to a South Korean
interpreter close to the case.
Rev. Kim, 58, was kidnapped by North Korean
agents five years ago. He was then helping North
Korean refugees in Yanji, a city bordering the
S. Korean Defector Interviewed
Pyongyang, February 9 (KCNA) -- Kim Ki Ho who
defected to the northern half of Korea was
interviewed here on February 8 by domestic and
foreign mediapersons. Kim, 60, had served as an
employee at a U.S. army unit in south Korea for
nearly 30 years.
At the press conference he said he came over to
the northern half of Korea not by any impulse
but because he was unable to remain a passive on-
looker to all sorts of highhandedness, outrages
and atrocities committed by GIs in south Korea.
That was why he came to bitterly hate the U.S.
and think that its forces should be forced out
of south Korea, he said, and continued:
Through various channels I came to know well
that in the northern half of Korea the people
enjoy a worthy life as masters of society and,
in particular, the DPRK under the Songun
leadership of Kim Jong Il is standing firm
against the U.S. which styles itself the "only
superpower" in the world. This renewed my
resolution to come over to the north with the
firm determination to contribute to the struggle
to force GIs out of south Korea and reunify the
Referring to the embezzlement of funds by a
superior officer of the U.S. army, he said the
Yankees expelled him in a bid to cover up their
crime when he attempted to lay bare this
KPA Warns S. Korea to Stop Infiltration of
Warships Into Northern Territory
A spokesman for the Navy Command of the Korean
People's Army (KPA) urged on January 21 the
South Korean military authorities to ponder over
the serious consequences that may be entailed by
the military tension mounting in the West Sea of
Korea and bring the situation under control
Spending on overseas education continues to
February 07, 2005 ? Koreans' spending on
overseas education reached a new height last
year, totaling $5.15 billion, according to the
Trade Research Institute.
The figure, a 10.5-percent increase from 2003,
was in a report released yesterday by the
institute, a research body under the Korea
International Trade Association. By comparison,
foreign students coming to Korea to study spent
a mere $260 million last year, the report said.
The institute determined that the number of
Koreans who went abroad to study last year was
394,000, an increase of 13.3 percent compared to
the previous year.
S. Korean Military Warned against Touch-and-Go
Situation in West Sea
Pyongyang, February 7 (KCNA) -- We warn the
south Korean military authorities against acting
rashly, mindful that if they persist in their
reckless military provocations, it will cause
unpredictable consequences. This warning is
served by the Navy Command of the Korean
People's Army in a press release issued Monday
as regards the military tension daily escalating
in the West Sea of Korea due to their
premeditated provocative acts.
On Feb. 6 and 7 the south Korean military
authorities infiltrated their battleship into
waters of the north side south of Kuwol Hill in
the wake of their similar intrusion on Feb. 4,
deliberately escalating the tension there, the
press release said, and went on:
What should not be overlooked is that the
spokesman for the navy of the south Korean
forces expressed "regret" over the repeated
warnings of the north and blustered that they
would defend the "northern limit line" to the
This is another intolerable challenge as it
stirred up the military stand-off between the
north and the south.
The ceaseless intrusion of south Korean
battleships into the afore-said waters is
pushing the stand-off between the two sides to a
Film Censorship Ruling Stirs Anger
By Kim Tae-jong
Members of the film industry reacted strongly to
the Seoul court's decision that a controversial
film about the assassination of former President
Park Chung-hee must be edited before its
``The ruling is a pure anachronism,'' members of
Women in Film Korea said Tuesday in their
official statement on the court's decision. ``It
is the same method of censorship used to control
culture by the past dictatorial government.''
Directed by Lim Sang-soo, the film ``The
President's Last Bang (Kuddae Ku Saramdul)'' is
a fictionalized account of the president's death
on Oct. 26, 1979. It is set during a party at
the president's ``safe house,'' an unregistered
location for the late president managed by the
KCIA in Kungjung-dong, Seoul.
Korea's Education Deficit Widening
By Kim Sung-jin
South Korea is suffering from the greatest
education deficit among Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
nations, and it is widening every year.
According to the Korea International Trade
Association (KITA) Sunday, Korea's education
deficit totaled $4.26 billion in 2002, up from
$3.53 billion the previous year.
Koreans spent a combined $4.44 billion studying
abroad in 2002 while foreigners' education
expenses in Korea stood at a mere $185 million.
POSCO Advised to Donate for WWII Victims
By Kim Sung-jin
The ruling Uri Party will initiate a nationwide
campaign to raise funds to compensate more than
1 million Koreans forced to serve in the
military by the Japanese government and over
200,000 Korean women forced to be sex slaves in
The party is moving to encourage companies,
including POSCO, that benefited from Japan's
monetary reparation to donate funds for Korean
individuals who were forcibly drafted or under
slave labor during the Japanese colonial rule
A Uri Party lawmaker said part of the Japanese
fund was mobilized to build factories, including
POSCO's. He expressed hope that the steelmaker
and other large firms would participate in the
drive voluntarily, adding that 25 percent of the
Japanese reparation was used to build POSCO.
Kyonggi Governor Invites NK to Peace Festival
By Bae Keun-min
Kyonggi Province plans to invite a North Korean
delegation to a large-scale international peace
festival to be held in August at Dorasan
Station, which is the last train stop outside of
the Demilitarized Zone.
Governor Sohn Hak-kyu has revealed the plan to
host the festivity in celebration of the 60th
anniversary of liberation from Japanese colonial
rule and ``Visit Kyonggi Korea 2005.''
Return to ROK and Inter-Korean relations page