Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Defectors from the DPRK and other ROK-based activists floated 200,000 leaflets on Monday, 10 October, on the anniversary of the foundation of the Korean Workers’ Party. The activists scattering the leaflets also commemorated the one year anniversary of the death of Hwang Chang-yop, one of the most senior DPRK elites who fled to ROK in 1997 where resided until his 2010 death. The leaflet launch occurred in spite of a warning on Saturday from the KPA’s representative to inter-Korea military talks:
Public at home and abroad affirmatively appreciate the atmosphere of a series of dialogues created with much effort and hope to see the north-south relations improved and national reconciliation and unity attained on this occasion.
The military warmongers and other puppet conservative forces of south Korea, however, are getting frantic with the moves to escalate the confrontation with the DPRK as evidenced by intrusions into the north side’s waters in the West Sea of Korea and the scattering of leaflets over areas along the front, a blatant challenge to the national aspiration and the demand of the times.
In September alone, more than 80 warships of the South Korean navy intruded into the waters of the north side in the sea while anti-communist rightwing conservative organizations scattered a lot of leaflets and undesirable USBs and pamphlets into areas of the north side.
A particular mention should be made of the fact that anti-communist elements under the Federation of the Movement for Freedom in the North unhesitatingly opened to public their plan to scatter anti-DPRK leaflets from the Rimjin Pavilion on the anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
The reckless actions of the anti-DPRK confrontation elements to slander the headquarters of our revolution and the socialist system have reached an intolerable phase.
One of the activists scattering leaflets into the DPRK, Park Sang-hak, has been targeted by the country for assassination by poison. The alleged assassin, a 22-year member of the KPA named An (Ahn) who fled to ROK in 1995, planned to spike Park’s drink or utilize a poison dart. An was initially recruited during a March 2010 business trip by DPRK officials who asked An to target Kim Tok-hong (who arrived in ROK with Hwang Chang-yop in 1997), but was pater switched to Pak. JoongAng Ilbo reports:
According to prosecutors, An escaped the North in 1995, and ran a kimchi manufacturing factory in China. The business was not successful and then he worked as an executive of a South Korean company doing trade with North Korea from third countries.
In March 2010, An was in Mongolia researching new business opportunities and met a senior official of the North Korean Embassy there. The two met several times and he was introduced to another North Korean official, supposedly named Kim, at the embassy last November.
Kim worked for the North Korean agency handling spying activities overseas. After he learning that An had defected to the South after 22 years of military service in the North, he asked An to kill Kim Deok-hong, who defected with Hwang Jang-yop, former secretary of the Workers’ Party of the North, in 1997. Hwang was the highest ranking North Korean to ever defect.
An returned to the South and reported the assassination order to the NIS. He said he would gather more information for the NIS on additional trips to Mongolia.
The NIS warned him that further trips to Mongolia were dangerous, but An returned in March in fear of losing business opportunities. During that trip, An received additional prods from Kim to kill Kim Deok-hong in South Korea.
“If you succeed in assassinating him, we will let your mother, who is currently living in a controlled district [with limited freedoms], to move to Pyongyang and live a comfortable life,” Kim was quoted as saying by An, prosecutors said. “We will also provide much assistance for your businesses.”
An agreed, and returned to the South with the intention of killing Kim Deok-hong. He couldn’t locate him, however, and the target was changed by his handlers in the North to Park Sang-hak.
An tried to lure Park to see him saying that someone from Japan was willing to help Park spread anti-North leaflets and they could discuss it at a Japanese restaurant in Gangnam.
Meanwhile, ROK is rejecting a DPRK request to repatriate two brothers who arrived south on a small boat on 4 October (Tuesday) via the East Sea (Sea of Japan), after the brothers expressed that they wanted to remain in ROK. It was the second waterborne defection to occur in the last several weeks. Also, on 4 October, nine DPRK defectors arrived in Seoul, after spending nearly 3 weeks in Japan.
On 13 September a small DPRK fishing boat carrying six adults and three children was found drifting off the coast of the Noto Peninsula. The leader of the group told Japanese authorities, “We wish to go to South Korea.” The group’s leader was a member of the KPA who worked as a fisherman. A report in Sankei Shimbun speculated that they decided to leave the DPRK because of corruption within the KPA-owned fishing companies. Security organizations in the DPRK increased the amount of money fishermen are required to pay to fish, and their lives became untenable. The group’s leader said, “We had to pay a huge amount of money to the military and life became more difficult each year.”
KBS World reports that a DPRK migrant currently incarcerated in China, but who holds ROK citizenship, will be released. Another migrant with dual citizenship was “paroled” and was expected to travel south. The two dual citizens are part of a group estimated between 20 and 30 migrants who were arrested in late September. They are under investigation by Chinese authorities and are being held in a facility near Yanbian. Last week, a ROK national and DPRK defector were arrested near Shenyang and are also being detained.