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NK Dokdo Stamp for Sale in S. Korea
SEOUL (Yonhap) _ A South Korean distributor began receiving orders this week for postage stamps featuring a set of South Korean islets in the East Sea printed by North Korea, in an apparent protest against Japan's continued claim to the islets, the distributor said Friday.
The South Korean company said it is receiving orders for sets of nine stamps priced at 18,000 won ($19), through its Web site, www.dprkpost.com, until Sept. 2.
The stamps are to be imported by a Hong Kong contractor to the communist state, Ko Sun Film Video Trading Co., Ltd [Joint Korean]
Spy Agency Tightens Measures to Counter Cyber Terrorism
By Ryu Jin
A national crisis management drill participated in by the governmental, civilian and military sectors took place Thursday, focusing on measures to counter ``cyber terrorism'' in the 21st century.
Organized by the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the drill was conducted as part of the annual Ulchi Exercises, including a joint military drill between South Korea and the United States, to be continued until Sept. 1.
President Roh Moo-hyun visited the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) to inspect the cyber drill, the first of its kind since the Ulchi Exercises were launched about 40 years ago.
``Our country is an Internet powerhouse. We, however, also had some confusion due to, among others, cyber security problems,'' Roh said during the visit. ``But now I am quite relieved as I have just inspected the well prepared posture.''
[Cyberwarfare] [Joint US military]
Koreas to Hold Red Cross Talks
By Lee Jin-woo
Red Cross officials from South and North Korea will meet tomorrow to discuss the South's humanitarian flood relief to the North, despite chilly inter-Korean relations after the North's missile launches on July 5, the Unification Ministry said yesterday. The meeting will take place at Mt. Kumgang in the North.
'Kim Jong-il' Aphrodisiac Gang Busted
Police have busted a gang that sold fake aphrodisiacs trading on the name of North Korean leader and serial polygamist Kim Jong-il.
Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency booked four people including a North Korean defector identified as Lee (44) without detention on Thursday on charges of producing and selling illegal pharmaceuticals concocted by mixing erectile dysfunction drugs and medicinal herbs.
Police said the scammers built a food factory in February last year in Songpa-gu, Seoul where they made three kinds of unlicensed health products by mixing herbs with Tadalafil, the active ingredient in impotence drug Cialis, which they smuggled into the country from China. They are thought to have made profits of W525 million (US$1=W958) by selling some 1,750 boxes of the product priced at W300,000 per box of eight tablets.
Lee worked as a bodyguard for Kim Jong-il for 10 years before fleeing the North in 2000. After settling in South Korea, he came to prominence with a book titled "I Was Kim Jong-il's Bodyguard." Taking advantage of this background, he engaged in false advertising by describing the drug as "the miracle cure even Kim Jong-il takes" due to its efficacy treating sex-related problems including impotence and premature ejaculation. Investigators say some victims who took the product suffered side effects including headaches, swelling and heart racing.
South Korean Civil Society’s Response to the N.K. Missile Tests Follows Predictable Ideological Divides
by Yi Kiho
August 15th, 2006
Yi Kiho, Director of the South Korea office of the Nautilus Institute, writes, “What we can understand from the responses of each sector of civil society is that neither group is focused on the military threat posed by the missile launches… Instead of using the missile tests just to criticize the North Korean policies of the United States (in the case of progressives) or South Korea (in the case of conservatives), it would be more productive for South Korean NGOs to provide constructive alternatives. It is high time for South Korean civil society to put aside long-standing ideological differences and work together on building a peaceful future for the Korean Peninsula.”
Changing times reflected in statistics data
August 15, 2006 ? The National Statistical Office yesterday released a grab-bag of statistics inviting Koreans to ponder the dramatic changes here since Korea was liberated from Japanese rule in 1945.
The statistics body noted that the crowds at Incheon International Airport leaving for vacations or for study abroad are a recent phenomenon. Only in 1989 were the last controls on foreign travel lifted; those curbs were mainly designed to conserve foreign exchange. Last year, 9.5 million Koreans traveled overseas; in 1960, by comparison, the number was only about 8,000.
Roh Calls for More Tolerance
By Ryu Jin
President Roh Moo-hyun laid emphasis on ``tolerance'' Tuesday to depart from the confrontational past and make a leap toward a new future based on national unity at home as well as integration within Northeast Asia.
In a nationally televised address during a ceremony to mark Korea's 61st Liberation Day, Roh called for national unity at home, reconciliation between the two Koreas and an end to the confrontational order in Northeast Asia.
Roh's secretaries said the president used integration as a keyword to seek both domestic harmony and cooperation with such regional players as Japan and North Korea, according to Chong Wa Dae officials.
Roh Warns Against Hegemonism in Northeast Asia
Followings are excerpts from a speech President Roh Moo-hyun delivered to mark the 61st Liberation Day Tuesday. _ ED.
For the nation's safety, peace and future prosperity, we need to carefully manage the current situation on the one hand and overcome these challenges one by one on the other.
Most of all, we need to manage wisely the reality of national division. We should not destroy trust between the South and North by inciting antagonistic emotions.
No Korean Universities in Top 100
By Kang Shin-who
Korean universities failed to be listed in the top 100 global universities selected by Newsweek, the popular U.S. weekly news magazine.
Newsweek released its worldwide university evaluation results on Sunday.
Harvard University tops the list of the global universities _ Stanford University came next, followed by Yale University, the California Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, Cambridge University, Massachusetts Institute of Science and Technology, Oxford University, the University of California at San Francisco, and Colombia University.
Myth of Pure-Blood Nationalism Blocks Multi-Ethnic Society
By Park Chung-a
When Korean-born American Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Hines Ward visited South Korea in April, people's attention to mixed-race people in the country increased enormously. Even leading officials and educators stepped up their efforts to embrace multicultural families in local communities, something rarely seen before.
However, while Koreans are fascinated by the biracial football hero, the majority of ordinary mixed-race people and migrant workers face various forms of discrimination and prejudice here.
Dog Meat Still Hot Potato in Korea
Thursday was "malbok," the last day of heat based on the lunar calendar, and it is also the day when many Koreans eat what they consider invigorating to recharge their batteries from the steamy weather. "Poshintang (dog meat soup)" is one of the most popular foods for the day along with "samgyetang (chicken broth)."
Also malbok is the day when people for and against consuming dog meat bark at each other.
"Eating dog is one thing that was never accepted in many parts of the world," said a member of Korea Association for Animal Protection (KAAP). In fact, a renowned French actress and pet lover, Bridgit Bardot strongly criticized Koreans for eating dog meat, naming it a "barbarous demeanor."
North Korea's Missile Launches and South Korea's Response
by Moo-jin Yang
August 10th, 2006
Moo-jin Yang, a Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of North Korean Studies who writes widely on the North Korean Economy in both English and Japanese, writes, ". South Korea has to take decisive steps in response to the provocative behavior of North Korea, but must also prepare an "exit" too. To stop the tension from rising further on the peninsula, we have to find ways to resolve the problems peacefully through dialogue. That is, we must maintain the basic dynamic force of inter-Korean relations and strengthen solidarity within the international community for the quick return to the Six-Party Talks."
Four Eateries That Make a Delight of Sheep
A Chinese proverb says "crying lamb but selling dog meat" to describe inferior goods sold under a grand name. The Chinese may have regarded lamb as superior to dog. But in traditional Korean cooking, there is no lamb, and most Koreans don't like it because they say it stinks. The reason is that if any sheep's meat was eaten, it was mature mutton rather than lamb, which was poor people's fare and an acquired taste to boot.
The meat here is so tender and mild that customers rarely think of sheep when they tuck in. The owner says the secret lies in the unique method used to mature the meat. The lamb comes from Australia and New Zealand and matures in the refrigerator, which eliminates the smell and makes it more springy
Nationalism Strains Diplomacy
This is the first in a series of articles on the repercussions of rising nationalism in Korea and East Asia. _ED.
By Ryu Jin
Since President Roh Moo-hyun took office in early 2003, South Korea has seen its relations with its neighboring nations, including Japan, China and the United States, more strained than at any other time in recent years. The soured relations are partly attributable to the rise of nationalism in Northeast Asia.
In a Cabinet meeting on July 25, Roh cautioned the United States for seeking to muster international pressure on Pyongyang along with Japan since North Korea test-fired seven missiles on July 5.
Roh's remarks invited criticism from professors and former foreign ministers as well as officials of the main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) for his ``emotional nationalism.''
[Friction] [Pro-Americanism] [Dilemma]
Ex-aide: Roh caved on North's requests
Says president agreed to two of three demands
August 08, 2006 ? North Korea wanted the South to remove three things, and the Roh Moo-hyun administration effectively took care of two of them, Kim Hee-sang, former defense policy advisor to Mr. Roh, said yesterday in an exclusive interview with the JoongAng Ilbo.
"North Korea wanted to get rid of propaganda signboards [south of] the demilitarized zone, remove the U.S.-South Korea Combined Forces Command and end the Northern Limit Line," said Mr. Kim, who served as Mr. Roh's defense advisor from February 2003 to January 2004. "The signboards along the border have been removed, and the combined forces command will automatically be dissolved when the United States hands over the wartime operational control to the South."
The Northern Limit Line is the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas. The North has been asking to redraw the borders at past military talks, a request the South has flatly rejected.
In October, the Roh administration is scheduled to announce the timeline to take over wartime operational control. That must not occur, Mr. Kim said. "It will not be too late to take it over after we beef up our military capability first to replace the U.S.-South Korea alliance."
Unions to compensate North for cancelled trip
August 08, 2006 ? Two umbrella groups of South Korean labor unions have decided to pay North Korea for cancellation of a trip north, the unions announced yesterday. North Korea sought compensation of about 30 million won ($31,000) for Air Koryo, the North Korean state airline. The two unions ? the Federation of Korean Trade Unions and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions ? cancelled a four-day visit from July 18 at the invitation of North Korea's General Federation of Korean Trade Unions.
The trip was cancelled on the day of departure, with heavy flood damage cited as the reason. The unions informed the North Korean group of the cancellation only after the Air Koryo flight had departed for the South. The following day, North Korea faxed a complaint that Air Koryo "suffered a large loss because of the return flight after departing to take [the union] members on board."
Teachers' Union Declares War on Chosun Ilbo
Lee Soo-ho, a member of the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union's advisory committee, reveals the stance of the teachers' union on a series of the Chosun Ilbo's critical reports about it at a press conference Monday.
The Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union has declared all-out war on the Chosun Ilbo in retaliation for a series of recent reports critical of the hugely powerful union's pro-North Korean ideological tendencies and violent struggles. It was especially miffed by an article titled "Teachers' Union Directed by a Handful of Ideologues" published on Aug. 2. On Monday, it declared war on this newspaper at its headquarters in Seoul and vowed to enlist "all conscientious and progressive forces in the nation."
The World Is Calling
Area College Students Join Those Hitting the Books Overseas in Record Numbers
By Susan Kinzie
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 8, 2006; Page B01
Brendan Geary was going to be an actor. Maybe a lawyer. But in college, he signed up for a semester abroad and got hooked.
Since he went to Israel -- and got past his first panicked "What was I thinking ?" -- he's also studied in the United Kingdom, Qatar and Ireland. He's taught in Japan and traveled to Austria, Cairo, Singapore, Jordan, Hong Kong. At 27, Geary has gone scuba diving in the Red Sea, worked with a member of Britain's Parliament and become one of the few Americans to play paintball in Moscow.
The number of students who leave their colleges or universities to participate in study-abroad programs has nearly tripled over the past 20 years. Many go abroad more than once. A semester in Jerusalem launched Brendan Geary on new academic interests and career plans and several years of crisscrossing the globe. A look at his path since starting college:
Once, a junior year abroad was something a few adventurous foreign-language majors did. Now, the number of students receiving college credit abroad keeps rising. During the past 20 years, it has nearly tripled, to about 175,000 in the 2003-04 academic year, the last year for which statistics are available. And there are those such as Geary, a doctoral student at Georgetown University who just finished a Fulbright fellowship, who string together academics and travel to maximize time spent overseas.
Foreigners Cite Divided Country as Korea's Image
By Park Chung-a
Foreigners' strongest image of Korea is that of a ``divided country'' while ``hallyu'' (Korean wave) is the one that is beheld by Koreans, according to a local survey.
The Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI) Monday announced that it had conducted a survey on the image of Korea, as well as the best symbol for the country, from July 21 to Aug. 1 on 207 foreigners who visited or have been staying in Korea along with 347 Koreans who are opinion leaders in various circles of society.
To a question asking what is Korea's strongest image that distinguishes it from Japan or China, 33 percent or the largest portion of the Korean respondents answered hallyu, whereas 32 percent said advanced information technology and 26 percent said a divided country. [Country image] [Hallyu] [Softpower]
Unions penalized over acts in North
August 05, 2006 ? The Ministry of Unification said it had punished a group of South Korean labor organization members for placing floral tributes at the national cemetery of North Korea during a visit to Pyongyang. The ministry said the labor groups received only a partial reimbursement of their travel expenses as a punitive action, but criticism arose yesterday that the penalty was too light.
A group of 150 South Koreans received permission to visit Pyongyang for four days from April 30 to attend inter-Korean Labor Day events. Before their departure, the government instructed the travelers on what not to do in the North and asked them not to commit any political act other than the stated purpose of their visit, the ministry said.
[human rights] [National Security Law]
Anti-Communist Law Debate Rekindled
By Lee Jin-woo
A visit by a group of South Korean labor activists to the tomb of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's mother sparked ideological clash between conservatives and progressives.
Conservatives called for the arrest of those visitors as they contend the visit is the violation of the anti-Communist National Security Law. Their call came out after
the Ministry of Unification belatedly acknowledged Friday about 50 of the 150-member delegation comprising members of the nation's two umbrella labor unions, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU), visited the Mausoleum of Revolutionary Patriots, a national cemetery in Pyongyang, during their trip to the North's capital from April 30 through May 3.
[Human rights] [National Security Law]
N.Korean Propaganda Marks Approach of Liberation Day
As ever, this year's Liberation Day marking Korea's independence from Japanese colonial rule threatens to become a festival of the kind of anti-American slogans North Korea specializes in. Instead of any significant reflection, South Koreans find themselves bombarded with familiar propaganda from pro-North Korean groups such as the Korean Federation of University Student Councils (KFUSC), the Korean Teachers and Education Workers' Union and the Pan-Korean Young Students Alliance to Unify the Fatherland. The U.S. Forces Korea must pull out, South Korea must defend itself without the help of the U.S., and so forth. A new addition this year is the priority on protests against a planned Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, while opposition against a new USFK headquarters, in Pyeongtaek near Seoul will also remain on the agenda. The groups also make a point of putting a positive spin on North Korea's July 5 missile tests
S.Korean Unionists Kowtowed at Pyongyang Cemetery
Some 50 members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) visited North Korea's Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery and paid a silent tribute during a trip on May Day. Among them, four officials including KCTU unification committee chairman Jin Kyung-ho laid floral wreaths at the communist monument, government officials said Friday.
A Unification Ministry official said all 150 members of the delegation visited the cemetery, while 50 paid a silent tribute and four laid flowers
Picasso in Korean history
Artist's anti-war painting was banned for decades in Korea
I read a story about Korea a few years ago, and I've always wondered if it is true. I read that, when Park Chung Hee was president, the government was so anti-communist that they prohibited the sale of a brand of crayons called "Picasso Crayons." The reason was simple ? Picasso was a communist. Is this a true story or just an urban legend?
Although there is a lack of evidence, several Korean news columnists write in their online blogs that a crayon brand was forced to change its name from "Picasso" to "Phoenix" at the height of the cold war in the 1960s.
Military camp: Middle and high school girls exercise during a camp to experience military life at a unit in western Seoul, Thursday.
[Role of ROK military] [Photo]
Kim faults Pyongyang, Washington for impasse
August 02, 2006 ? Former President Kim Dae-jung said he won't go to North Korea unless he's asked, and criticized North Korea for "playing a losing game," by taking a hard-line position after firing its missiles, saying it is pleasing conservatives in Japan and the United States.
The leaders of the Democrats visited Mr. Kim at a library in Seoul named after him. Mr. Kim said he will visit the North only when Pyongyang says it wants to hear his position, said Lee Sang-yul, spokesman of the Democratic Party.
"If I insist on going, I will be treated as a weird person," the Democratic Party spokesman quoted Mr. Kim as saying. "I just can't go unilaterally."
As tensions on the peninsula escalated in June, Mr. Kim canceled his plans to travel to North Korea for four days, starting June 27.
He also criticized the United States' policy of pressuring the North. Citing Cuba, he said no communist country has collapsed under such pressure.
Mr. Kim also complained about current U.S.-South Korea relations. "We sent the third-largest contingent to Iraq and agreed to the U.S. forces' relocation," Mr. Kim said. "We have given enough, but the United States is picking on small things, and we should try to persuade the United States not to do so."
[Friction] [Kim Dae-jung]
KAL 858 Blown Up by North Korean Terrorists: Panel
A fact-finding panel in the National Intelligence Service said Tuesday the bombing of Korean Air 858 jet in 1987 was indeed carried out by North Korean terrorists but exploited to hoist Roh Tae-woo to the presidency. Roh was the sidekick of the putschist president Chun Doo-hwan and candidate of the ruling Democratic Justice Party.
The families of victims and civil activists have alleged that the Agency for National Security Planning, the precursor of the NIS, masterminded the bombing. They claim 11 Korean diplomats suspiciously got off the plane in Abu Dhabi midway to Seoul before the aircraft blew up killing 95 passengers and 20 crew.
But the NIS panel concluded the allegations are baseless since the Korean consul general to Iraq Kang Seok-jae and his wife were killed in the bombing and no other government officials or diplomats were ever on board.
The panel also confirmed that Kim Hyon-hee, the surviving of two operatives who planted the bomb on KAL, is indeed a North Korean, putting an end to suspicions that the NSP lied about a set of pictures it said showed Kim. The committee refuted the allegation based on a new picture of the woman taken in Pyongyang in 1972, which it obtained from Japan.
[KAL858] [Kim Hyon-hee] [Evidence]
Controversy Surrounds 1987 KAL Bombing Case
Since the bombing of a KAL airliner in 1987, North Korea has been on the U.S. State Department's list of countries supporting terrorists. North Korea has made much effort to get off that list. From this context, North Korea's announcement that it is willing to repatriate the Japanese radicals who hijacked a Japanese airliner in 1970 is connected with this effort. However, what is noticeable is that in South Korea, one of the countries victimized by terrorists, suspicion that the KAL bombing was manipulated has became controversial enough to have its own special TV program.
So far, North Korea has denied the case. When Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited Pyeongyang, they admitted indirectly that they were responsible for this case. The North admitted that Lee Eun-hye (Takuchi Yaeko), the then Japanese teacher of KAL bomber Kim Hyon-hee, was kidnapped. Since Kim Hyon-hee is the only person that knew Lee's existence, this North Korea's acknowledgement proves that Kim Hyon-hee was a North Korean spy.
After the KAL was blown out of the sky on Nov. 29, 1987 and Kim was arrested, then-U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz designated North Korea a country supporting terrorists. Since then, the U.S. has demanded as conditions for taking North Korea off the list that ? the Japanese kidnapping issue be settled; ?the Japanese Red Army members who fled to North Korea after hijacking a Japanese airliner in 1970 be sent to Japan; ? apology for the KAL bombing; and ?agree to include itself in all anti-terrorism agreements.
[KAL858][ Kim Hyon-hee][Evidence]
Abductee Detained in North Korean Prison Camp
By Kim Sue-young
A crewmember of the South Korean fishing boat abducted by North Korea in 1987 was sent to a political prison camp in the North, after attempting to flee from the communist country, a civic activist claimed Monday.
Im Kuk-jae, 55, a crew member of Tongjin No. 27, was taken to the Susong political prison camp in Chongjin, North Hamkyong Province, after his third attempt to escape from the North, Choi Sung-young, a leader of a South Korean association of family members of the abducted, said.
Two Koreas Exchange Fire Across Eastern DMZ
A brief exchange of gunfire between the soldiers of the two Koreas across the eastern Demilitarized Zone in Yanggu Gangwon Province. Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff says North Korean soldiers fired two shots toward a South Korean guard post at around 7:30 p.m. Monday. South Korea immediately fired back six rounds across the border but there was no additional response from the North.
Isolated North Korea pulling back even more
August 01, 2006 ? With North Korea more isolated than ever from the international community over its nuclear program and recent missile launches, Pyongyang is taking steps to tighten controls on its people in a bid to show it can defy the international community, North Koreans interviewed in Beijing said.
"It seems that we have to sing the revolutionary songs again," said one North Korean in Beijing, saying it was time for his country to get mentally tougher. "Nobody listens to us, thus the only way left is to stick together," the North Korean said.
A source in Seoul who is familiar with North Korea's circumstances said yesterday that Pyongyang has decided to halt exchanges with the outside until April of next year. The Arirang Festival scheduled for this month has already been cancelled.
Experts said a series of economic measures aimed at reviving the North's ailing economy, which have been underway since 2001, will also likely be put on hold.
"Inside the North, there are even some calling for a halt of the Kaesong Industrial Complex and the Mount Kumgang tours," said the source, who added that large numbers of North Korean college students are submitting requests to enlist in the military.
Spy Agency to Announce Probe of 1987 Downing of KAL Plane
Spy Agency to Announce Results of Reinvestigation on 1987 Downing of KAL Plane
The National Intelligence Service (NIS) will announce today the interim results of its two-year probe into the 1987 downing of Korean Air Flight 858 near Myanmar, NIS officials said Monday.
Bereaved family members and some press reports, however, have long raised suspicions that the incident was possibly arranged by the South Korean government ahead of the presidential elections in late 1987.
Chun Doo-hwan Abused 1987 KAL Bombing for Presidential Election
By Park Song-wu
Members of a fact-finding committee of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) announce at the NIS headquarters in southern Seoul, Tuesday, the results of a reinvestigation of the 1987 bombing of a Korea Air passenger aircraft.
/ Korea Times Photo by Choi Hung-soo
A former military regime made diplomatic efforts to bring to Seoul two North Korean bombers of a Korean Air jet in 1987 to flare up anti-communist sentiment in the run-up to the presidential election, investigators said on Tuesday.
``We confirmed that the authoritarian government of Chun Doo-hwan tried to use the bombing to create circumstances that were favorable to its presidential campaign for Roh Tae-woo,'' an investigator said at a press conference at the National Intelligence Service (NIS) in Seoul.
In an interim report, the NIS Development Committee for Clarifying the Past upheld a Supreme Court ruling in 1990 that Kim Hyon-hee and her partner Kim Seung-il detonated the bomb under direct orders from Pyongyang, killing 95 passengers and 20 crew members.
The committee also confirmed that Kim Hyon-hee is a North Korean, putting an end to a controversy that there is allegedly no official record of her in the North.
The controversy began when the pictures the government claimed were Kim's and presented as court evidence in 1988 turned out to be not hers.
The committee, however, failed to draw a conclusion on the case as Kim Hyon-hee has not responded to around 10 summonses since last October. The NIS itself now plans to summon her to appear before the investigative panel, if necessary.
Meanwhile, the committee concluded in another investigation that the intelligence agency exaggerated a spy ring case in 1992 to help the presidential campaign of Kim Young-sam, then the ruling party's standard-bearer.
The committee said the agency's announcement of the roundup of a spy ring was based on facts, but was exaggerated as three individual cases were concocted into a systematic network of South Korean operatives working for the Workers' Party in the North.
It was common for previous authoritarian governments to use the North's potential threat as bait for South Koreans to vote for the ruling party's candidates, who usually argued that they had a strong and stable power base to protect the country.
[KAL858] [Terrorism] [Kim Hyun-Hee]
Korean Air Jet Bomber Out of Sight
By Park Song-wu
A Korean Air jet from Abu Dhabi to Seoul via Bangkok exploded over the Indian Ocean in 1987 when a bomb was detonated, killing 95 passengers and 20 crew members.
The intelligence agency subsequently concluded that two North Korean agents, including Kim Hyon-hee, blew up the plane under a direct order from North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il to thwart the Seoul Summer Olympics in 1988.
The female spy was brought to Seoul on Dec. 15, a day before the presidential election, in which Roh Tae-woo, then the ruling Democratic Justice Party's candidate, was elected.
There had been suspicions that some intelligence agents loyal to the former president and his predecessor Chun Doo-hwan had plotted the bombing to win back popularity for the then ruling camp in the lead-up to the 1987 presidential election.
The Supreme Court sentenced Kim Hyon-hee to death in March 1990. But Roh gave her a special pardon the next month. In December 1997, she married a secret agent who had guarded her.
Under the intelligence agency's protection programs, she tried to engage with South Korean society in an active manner, including writing a memoir and giving speeches usually on the importance of national security.
But her life in the South did not go smoothly. In September 2002, the Families of KAL 858 Victims, a civic group that sought to find the truth of the case, submitted a petition for a reinvestigation of the case to the National Assembly with a list of 41 questions.
Among the accusations were that there was no official record of Kim Hyon-hee from North Korea. Especially, the pictures that the government claimed were Kim's and presented as court evidence turned out not to be hers.
The photos and other suspicions, including the disappearance of the black box on the plane, led the civic group to accuse Kim of being a double spy for the two Koreas.
Investigators reexamining the case said on Tuesday that to get a clear picture of what happened in 1987 Kim's testimony is essential. But she has declined to respond to their summons since last October, they said.
After her marriage Kim reportedly lived in Seoul and a city in North Kyongsang Province where her husband's family lives. She also gave birth to a son in 2000 and a daughter in 2002.
But she completely disappeared from media coverage after 2003 when a defamation lawsuit against a novel, featuring a conspiracy theory about the bombing, led the prosecution to consider summoning her as a witness.
[KAL858] [Terrorism] [Kim Hyun-Hee]
Previous Government Abused Spy Case Politically'
By Jung Sung-ki
The authoritarian government led by former President Roh Tae-woo tried to ``exaggerate'' an incident involving South Korean operatives in connection with communist North Korea for political gain ahead of the presidential election in December 1992.
A fact-finding panel of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), however, reaffirmed that the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA), predecessor of the NIS, had enough evidence to believe that three spies were working for the North's ruling Workers' Party.
Academy in Pain Over Plagiarism
By Kim Rahn
The recent scandal surrounding plagiarism in the theses of Kim Byong-joon, deputy prime minister and minister of education and human resources development, has disclosed a shameful side of the nation's academic circle.
Irregularities in theses, such as plagiarism, combination of several theses into one, and dual publication of a single thesis, have become an ``established practice'' among some professors, as the ministry said in an excuse for the minister's acts.
Only a few days since inauguration at the top post of the nation's education, Kim has been under suspicion that he plagiarized his own thesis to obtain government research funds.
Seoul Skips Interpol Meeting on North Korea
SEOUL (Yonhap) - South Korea skipped a meeting called by Interpol last week to discuss alleged currency counterfeiting by North Korea, South Korean officials said Sunday.
``We thought it's unnecessary (to attend the meeting), as its agenda had nothing special,'' an official at the National Police Agency said, requesting anonymity.
``It's not unusual to skip such a meeting which is convened from time to time. Participation is subject to each Interpol member nation's discretion,'' he said.
The meeting was held in Lyon, France on July 26.
The Korea Minting and Security Printing Corp. also said it was aware of the meeting but decided to stay away.
"We were notified of the meeting a few days ago, and decided not to attend it, as it was to handle only forged U.S. dollars," an official at the state-run company said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.
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