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Dissidents` Homecoming

Posted September. 19, 2003 23:22,   


Thirty three personages, who took part in democratization movement living overseas, previously called anti-government personages, entered Korea through Incheon International Airport on the 19th.

About 11:15 AM on the day, 4 of them including Dr. Kim Seong-soo (68) and his wife, who were not allowed to enter Korea as being suspected as the wirepuller of `Professor Choi Jong-gil case` in the 1970s and `Germany dispatched miner spy ring case` in 1987, arrived at Incheon Airport via Lufthansa flight 712.

Then, 29 others including vice president Yang Dong-min of Korean Residents Democratic Unification Association, founded in 1973 and designated as antinational group while performing movement for unification and to rescue former president Kim Dae-jung, Korea Issue Research Center Director Kang Jong-heon who served a 13-year sentence in jail after being prosecuted with the `Korean Students Spy ring in Japan case` in 1975.

President of Korean Residents Democratic Unification Association Gwak Dong-ui (73) who was included in the name list or entry was not able to come due to sudden cardiac disorder with the excitement of visiting is homeland and the strain so far.

They were welcome by the over 100 people including the members of Pan-Korea Alliance for Reunification and their families. They had a press conference at about 12:50PM at the airport.

The vice president Gwak Su-ho said in the arrival announcement, ˝I am filled with deep emotion to return to my homeland again.˝ and added, ˝I hope our visit could strengthen national relation among our brothers and to contribute to harmony and unity of the whole citizens.˝

The visit on the day was granted by the `Pan-national Propulsion Committee to Recover the Honor of Personages of Democracy Living Overseas and to Guarantee their Returning Home` who propelled `Personages of Democracy Living Overseas to Return Home for the Korean Thanksgiving Day.`

The committee requested to the government for these personages` entry to Korea to recover human right and properly establish the concept of democratization movement.

About 10 of these 33 people are personages who are reported to the related organizations by the reason that they had performed pro-North Korea activities in foreign countries during the 1970s and 80s.

However, it is seen that the government has approved there is no problem with the entry to Korea with the visit this time. Meanwhile, 4 representatives including vice president Yang will visit the former president Kim Dae-jung on the 20th at about 10:00AM with the chairperson Im Jong-in of the propelling committee.

Sun-Woo Kim sublime@donga.com