Friday, January 20, 2012

It's not a bad movie, clumsy North Korean assassins really do exist:
But more than his appearance, they will likely be remembering the chilling words he spoke: ‘I came here to cut Park Chung-hee’s throat.’

Kim was a would-be assassin, sent to kill the then-South Korean president. It was January 1968, and Kim was being presented to the nation live on TV. He had just been captured after a bloody, days-long chase, and was the only one of 31 North Korean commandos captured alive by South Korean authorities.

Kim’s journey may seem like the kind of horror story consigned to the annals of Cold War history. But recently, South Koreans have been forced to re-confront some old truths involving the brutal world of secret agents. Covered in the national media with headlines that sent a collective shudder down the spine of the nation, in late September it emerged a man allegedly posing as a North Korean defector had attempted to murder a high-profile anti-Pyongyang activist in Seoul using poison-tipped pens – on the orders of the North. It’s an incident, say experienced observers, which presents a timely reminder that North Korean spies still operate in their midst.
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