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Tokyo Newspaper: “Kim Jong Il Allowed Honecker to Defect In 1989”

Tokyo Newspaper: “Kim Jong Il Allowed Honecker to Defect In 1989”

Posted December. 05, 2004 23:10,   


The Tokyo Newspaper reported on December 5 that Kang Seok-ju, author of “Kim Jong Il fever,” is assumed to be Kang Seok Ju, known as the top deputy foreign minister of North Korea. The book is about behind-the-scenes stories of former secretary of East German Communist Party Erich Honecker, who attempted to defect to North Korea.

The newspaper said a lot of behind-the-scenes stories about Kim Jong Il were in the book, which is mainly about praise and worship of the North Korean leader.

The 313-page book was published in May 2004 by Pyongyang Labor Group Publishing.

The book says Kim Jong Il defied recommendations of his close aides to fly during his visit to Russia back in 2001. He reportedly told them “I understand you are concerned about potential security problems, but there can’t be any change in my plan to take a train and closely watch each passing city.” In so doing, he insisted on taking a land route.

Other than that, the book includes a story that Erich Honecker, who retired in December, 1989, asked Kim in a letter to approve his defection to his regime, saying he had more than close relations with Kim Il Sung, the former leader of the country.

Kim Jong Il is reported to have ordered a plane to wait for Honecker in East Germany to fly him to his regime, a move against the advice of his close aides that Honecker’s defection would seriously damage the North’s foreign relations. Yet Honecker moved to Chile through the former Soviet Union and died of illness in 1994.

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com