Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Name: Kim Hyon-Hui. Profession: North Korean Spy

"The feeble-looking man and his daughter sat
quietly on a bench outside the airport
immigration office in Bahrain. Despite their
apparent calm, they were the center of an
international storm..."

The Mystery of Flight 858, published in Time,
1987
But first, about Kim's arrival in Tokyo today.

Kim Hyon Hui, a former North Korean spy convicted
of the 1987 bombing of a Korean Air jetliner
arrived at Tokyo's Haneda airport on Tuesday
early morning . She is to meet the families of
Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean
agents.***

VDO

video

Click the arrow to watch the arrival of Kim
Hyon-Hui filmed by local TVs' with Kim driven to
the mountain resort of Karuizawa in central
Nagano prefecture to a summer house owned by
former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

Local news reports quotes by the Korea Times said
that Kim received 20-30 million yen (280-420
million won) from the Japanese government in
return for her visit to Japan.

"The former spy is still a controversial figure,
whom critics accuse of playing up her beauty and
image as a victim of North Korea's communist
regime in exchange for a pardon from the death
sentence." (Quotes of the KT)

After arriving at Tokyo's Haneda airport on a
government - chartered flight from South Korea,
she was taken by car to a cottage in Karuizawa, a
summer retreat in Nagano Prefecture, where she
will stay. Japanese police have kept Kim heavily
guarded and her itinerary secret at the request
of the South Korean government due to security
concerns.

During her stay in Japan until Friday, Kim who is
now 46, will meet the parents of Japanese
abductee Megumi Yokota and the family of another
abductee Yaeko Taguchi, and her 33 year old son
Koichiro Iizuka and plan to ask her during their
second meeting what she knows about Japanese
abductees.

While families of the abduction victims expect
that Kim will yield fresh information about them,
criticism has grown that the Japanese government
is merely trying to gloss over its failure to
make a break - through in the long-standing
problem by bringing her to Japan.

College hired

According to her autobiography and other sources,
Kim, who was born the daughter of a North Korean
diplomat, was chosen as an agent while studying
at college and was taught Japanese language and
culture by Yaeko Taguchi in the early 1980s.

After bombing the KAL plane and killing all 115
people on board, Kim was apprehended in Bahrain
and sent to South Korea, where she was sentenced
to death in 1989. But she was freed later under a
presidential pardon. She married in South Korea
and has two children. She met with Taguchi's
33-year-old son Koichiro in March last year in
Pusan, South Korea, while telling Japanese
government officials since May last year that she
had met with Megumi Yokota during training prior
to the bombing. Yokota was kidnapped by North
Korean agents in 1977 at age 13 on her way home
from school in Niigata Prefecture. Pyongyang said
she died in North Korea, but her family does not
believe the claim.

Kim's visit to Japan came after Yokota's parents,
Shigeru, 77, and Sakie, 74 said they wanted to
meet face-to-face to hear about their daughter.
Hiroshi Nakai, Japan's state minister in charge
of the abduction issue, has played a leading role
in arranging Kim's visit, and Justice Minister
Keiko Chiba issued a special permit for her to
enter Japan, despite the Japanese immigration law
denying entry to foreign nationals sentenced to
one year or more in jail.

The chartered airplane arrived at the Haneda
airport shortly before 4 a.m. before the start of
ordinary flights, and Kim, with a white jacket
and sunglasses, got into a car, guarded by some
10 officials who put up umbrellas in order
apparently to hide her from cameras.

North Korea in 2001 admitted to 13 abductions of
Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 80s. It
allowed five victims to return home but said
eight more had died, a claim Japan has rejected.
Japan insists North Korea is still hiding
survivors and has abducted more people than it
admits, in a dispute that has proved a stumbling
block in talks to end Pyongyang's nuclear weapons
program. "Critics have questioned rationales for
granting the convicted terrorist special
permission to visit Japan, when she is not likely
to possess significant information about the
kidnapping of Japanese nationals," according to
press agencies speculations.

Kim (here in the 90's) criticized the South
Korean media in 2009 for revealing her
whereabouts along with telling the Japanese media
that one of their abducted citizens may be alive
in North Korea. Played by intelligence, Japanese
media are to repeat the same mistake?



The alleged story of DPRK agent Kim Hyon-Hui

Former North Korean operative born in 1962, in
Kaesong, involved in the Korean Air Flight 858
bombing in 1987.

Korean Air Flight 858 was a Boeing 707 3B5C en
route from Baghdad International Airport to Gimpo
International Airport on 29 November 1987. Two
North Korean agents left a bomb in the passenger
cabin before leaving the plane in a stopover at
Abu Dhabi International Airport. The aircraft
exploded over the Andaman Sea. Subsequent
investigation and testimony by one of the
perpetrators implicated Kim Jong-il, the son of
"North Korea's Eternal President Kim Il-sung", in
the plot.

Korean Air Flight 858 was en route from Abu Dhabi
to Bangkok on 29 November 1987 when it exploded
over the Andaman Sea, killing all 115 on board.
Two North Korean agents had boarded the plane in
Baghdad and departed during its stopover in Abu
Dhabi having left a time bomb in an overhead
compartment. The agents were arrested when they
attempted to leave Bahrain using fake Japanese
passports, and both immediately swallowed cyanide
capsules. The male, later identified as
70-year-old Kim Sung Il, died almost instantly,
but the female suspect, 26 year old Kim Hyon Hui,
survived.

According to testimony at a United Nations
Security Council meeting, on 15 December 1987 Kim
Hyon Hui was transferred to Seoul where she
recovered from the poison and, after seeing life
in South Korea on television, said that she had
been "exploited as a tool for North Korean
terrorist activities", and made a detailed and
voluntary confession outlining her travels under
the guidance of North Korean agents from
Pyongyang via Moscow, Budapest, Vienna, Belgrade,
and eventually to Baghdad where the bomb was
primed. The escape route was to be from Abu Dhabi
via Amman to Rome but was diverted to Bahrain due
to visa complications.

In January 1988, Kim announced at a press
conference held by the Agency for National
Security Planning, the South Korean secret
services agency, that both she and her partner
were North Korean operatives. She said that they
had left a radio containing 350 grams of C 4
explosive and a liquor bottle containing
approximately 700 ml of PLX explosive in an
overhead rack in the passenger cabin of the
aircraft.

Kim expressed remorse at her actions and asked
for the forgiveness of the families of those who
had died. She also said that the order for the
bombing had been "personally penned" by Kim
Jong-il, the son of North Korean President Kim Il
Sung, who had wanted to destabilize the South
Korean government, disrupt upcoming elections and
frighten teams from attending the Seoul Olympics.
An article written by Peter Maass for The
Washington Post and dated 15 January 1988 states
that it was unknown whether Kim was coerced in
her remarks or was motivated by remorse for her
actions.

Aftermath In 1993, William Morrow & Co published
"The Tears of My Soul", Kim Hyon Hui's account of
how she was trained as a North Korean espionage
agent and carried out the bombing of KAL flight
858. In a gesture of contrition for her crime,
she donated all of the proceeds from this book to
the families of the victims of flight 858.

*** Related to Asian Gazette paper on "New Naicho
chief: Japan's changing face of Intelligence"
July 9th

Sources:

Agencies, TV Asahi, Time, Wikipedia, Hee
Kim Hyun (1993) " The Tears of My Soul", "She
sabotaged plane on orders of Kim Jong-Il" The
Reporter's notes

Comments:

✍✍✍ How awful situation for the parents
of Miss Yokota!

✍✍✍ Some people in Bangkok, Thailand
have had excellent knowledge of what
happened in the KAL bombing. North
Korean agents used to gather in a
Korean (North) restaurant in the
Sukhumvit area prior to November 1987.
Might have happened at that time that
terrorists gathered there for coordination
and were monitored by security agencies
according to well informed sources.


1 comment:

  1. Alice4:25 AM

    Very interesting and informative! Thank you

    ReplyDelete

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