Revolution on the Slopes of Mt. Gwanak

first_img News News AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News By Daily NK – 2014.07.13 10:35pm Facebook Twitter SHARE Despite these doubts, Kim went on to meet Yoonsix or seven times, all while doing things like hiking up and down Mt.Gwanak, an urban mountain in the south of Seoul. Yoon brought Kim into theChosun Workers’ Party in a ceremony held on that very mountainside, getting him topledge undying loyalty to the Party and to Kim Il Sung. Prior to hisdeparture back to the North, Yoon also gave Kim a shortwave radio, codebooksand a numbers chart for interpreting broadcasts from Pyongyang. Every twomonths, a series of numbers was broadcast containing instructions for allpersonnel in South Korea, including Kim, who by then was known by his handle: “Gwanaksan-1.”In February 1991, the numbers called Gwanaksan-1 to Pyongyang. He was instructed to comeat an appropriate time, but moreover to “bring someone with you who can organize andmanage our communications effort.” Kim called on a former colleague who had just been released from prison. “I am going to take part in animportant and dangerous task for the sake of unification,” Kim told Jo Yu Sik. “Canyou do it with me?” Jo agreed, and at midnight on May 17th that year the two men rendezvoused with two North Korean agents on a beach at Geonpyeong-ni, on the west coastof Ganghwa Island (see image).Almost five hours later, the four men arrived by submarine in theNorth Korean port city of Haeju, where two ranking Party officials were waiting.To be continued… The beach on Ganghwa Island where Kim met the North Korean submarine that transported him to Haeju.The map shows how close the beach (marked by a red pin) is to Seoul. North Korean territory is just out of shot to the north.  | Image: Google Maps North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China Revolution on the Slopes of Mt. Gwanak Kim Young Hwan is the same human rightsactivist that Chinese state security agents arrested and tortured over 114 daysbetween March and July 2012.Despite his prolonged incarceration, the Chinese authorities never charged Kim witha crime, and are therefore the only ones who know why he was arrested atall. Kim believes they didn’t even know who he was in the beginning; in hisview, they just arrested him because he happened to be with activists who were under surveillance at the time. It was only later, once hisimportance had been established, that Kim was accused of conspiring against the Chinese state. They would later threaten to pass him over to the North Koreans. This was not a trivial threat. Kim’s Chinese interlocutors knew very well thatthe North Korean security forces would be overjoyed to get their hands on Kim.Why? Because in the 1990s, he directly and very publicly betrayed Kim IlSung. It was back in 1991 that Kim made his secret trip to Pyongyang. At the time, hewas a youthful activist with an extreme, and extremely critical, view of theSouth Korean government of President Chun Doo Hwan, a military dictator who hadtaken power in a coup d’etat. A law student at Seoul National University, SouthKorea’s premier academic institution, Kim’s anti-government activism in the dying days of the 1980s earned him a spell behind bars. Following his release in December 1988after two years and a month in prison, Kim joined an underground organizationfounded by fellow law classmate Ha Young Ok. The “Anti-imperialist Youth Alliance”was styled after a group established by Kim Il Sung in his own youthfulrevolutionary phase. There, Kim Young Hwan organized the distribution ofpro-North Korea materials to colleges and factories as part of birthdaycelebrations idolizing Kim Il Sung. He hung signs praising Kim and his son, KimJong Il, and conducted study sessions eulogizing both the core tenets of Juche andKim Il Sung’s prowess as an independence fighter. North Korean operatives soon took note of Kim’sacumen in organizational matters, and concluded that they should recruit him tothe “revolutionary” cause. Thus, one day in early July 1989, he received a requestfor a meeting from a man who identified himself as Kim Cheol Soo. The man wouldlater be revealed as Yoon Taek Rim, a known North Korean agent. When the two men met, the middle-aged Yoon explained: “I have come from the North, Mr. Kim, and wish to discuss unification with you.” But Kim, understandably skeptical and fearful of South Korean intelligence agents, retorted: “How can I be certain that you arefrom the North?”“Ah yes, I see,” Yoon concurred. “Then I will takesteps to help you confirm it. Listen to the broadcast from Pyongyang at 22:00 tomorrow night. The announcer will state that ‘I have made contact with Mr. Kimand delivered the message.’ This will prove my identity.”Kim listened to the broadcast as instructed, and sure enough the North Koreanannouncer did exactly as Yoon had said he would, convincing Kim that the story was true. Yet Kim felt ambivalent about meeting “the man from theNorth” again. He was already a core member of an underground movement philosophicallybased on the Juche idea, and he desperately wanted to see North Korean societyfor himself and discuss Juche with North Korean experts. But now that thisappeared to be coming to pass, he found himself with much to ponder. News There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest Former pro-North Korea student activist Kim Young Hwan. | Image: Daily NK Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak last_img

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