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Suspicions over Careless Handling of Kim Hyung-wook`s Dead Body

Suspicions over Careless Handling of Kim Hyung-wook`s Dead Body

Posted May. 27, 2005 03:36,   


On May 26, the National Intelligence Service (NIS)`s "Commission for Progress through Verifying the Truth about Past Mysteries” (Truth Commission) made a report over the mysterious murder of former Director Kim Hyung-wook of the Korea Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA). Nonetheless, some questions remain unanswered.

The biggest mystery is whether then-President Park Jung-hee was involved in the incident. "We could not exactly verify whether then-KCIA Director Kim Jae-gyu was ordered to kill Kim Hyung-wook by President Park, due to a lack of data and the death of relevant officials," announced the Truth Commission.

Another mystery is the assassins` carelessness in dealing with Kim Hyung-wook`s dead body. "Two foreigners just covered [Kim`s body] with thick fallen leaves, without digging in the ground, approximately 50m away from the road," stated the Truth Commission.

It does not make sense, however, that the KCIA`s Shin Hyun-jin, who accompanied the foreigners to the murder spot, was on standby in a car while they were killing Kim Hyung-wook. It is also dubious that he left the site without taking any proper actions when he heard that his two accomplices lost the gun, with which they shot Kim Hyung-wook to death, and that they were quite negligent in hiding Kim`s body.

Equally problematic is that the Truth Commission relied entirely upon the testimony of Shin Hyun-jin, who then was a trainee of the KCIA, in its investigation into the assassination of Kim Hyung-wook. Shin Hyun-jin retracted from his original account that he gave $100,000 to two foreign accomplices. He is even evading an answer on where Kim`s body was disposed of, arguing that he does not remember anything about it.

The Truth Commission admitted the investigation was not enough. "In order to verify the credibility of Shin`s testimony and to complement the shortcomings of the investigation," said the Truth Commission, "we need more statements from other accomplices."

尹鍾求 jkmas@donga.com