Posted May. 12, 2005 23:27,
Kim Gwang-nam, chairman of the Los Angeles branch of the Advisory Council on Democratic and Peaceful Unification (ACDPU), stirred controversy when it was made public that he left an admiring message regarding the late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung when he recently visited Pyongyang.
On May 5, accompanied by 50 ACDPU Los Angeles delegates to North Korea, Chairman Kim reportedly made a visit to the Keumsusan Memorial Palace, where the late President Kim Il Sungs body is at rest, and left messages on a guest book referring to him as The Great Leader and that Under President Kims rule, [North Korean] residents were free of anxiety.
The act was recorded by the North in a videotape featuring the delegations activities, which was later sold as a souvenir. The scene in question was disclosed when the delegates returned to Los Angeles and played the videotape.
Chairman Kim, who is currently staying in Seoul after his visit to Pyongyang, explained that he had looked into previous pages of the guest book, just wondering what messages would be good to leave, and discovered that most of other visitors had written similar ones. He said that while he had never meant anything by doing so, he realized his act ended up as a serious mistake. In any case, he apologized, I regret having caused such a stir as the ACDPU chairman who led the delegation to North Korea.
The ACDPU delegations visit to North Korea was made possible through an invitation from North Koreas Korean Committee for the Relief of Overseas Koreans, and marked the first visit to North Korea by any overseas branch of the ACDPU.