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North Korea Makes Pyongyang Graveyard Information Public

North Korea Makes Pyongyang Graveyard Information Public

Posted July. 27, 2005 03:03,   


North Korea has for the first time made public the entire list of 62 Koreans buried in a newly built graveyard who were kidnapped or voluntarily went to North Korea. The monthly North Korean magazine Minjok 21 released a list of 39 people out of the total 62 in May of last year.

During an event for North and South Korean writers held in Pyongyang from July 20 to 25, North Korea made public the graveyard of Koreans who were kidnapped by or voluntarily went to North Korea at the request of the South Korean participants. The graveyard is located in Yonggung1-dong of the Yongsong zone, Pyongyang.

The list of 62 graves includes the writer Lee Gwang-su, the Korean literature scholar Jeong In-bo, the former civil administrator Ahn Jae-hong, the first president of Korea University Hyeon Sang-yun, the first vice-speaker Kim Yak-su, the former commander-in-chief of the national defense guard Song Ho-seong, the former president of the Korean Red Cross Society Baek Sang-gyu, the patriotic activist Park Ryeol, who was also an anarchist, and other influential figures who were kidnapped by or voluntarily went to North Korea during the Korean War. Among them are 23 constituent assembly legislators, and 21 members who served in the second National Assembly in the early 1950s.

“Originally, these graves were scattered all over Pyongyang, such as Jong-dong in the Samsok zone, Sinmi-ri in Mt. Hyongje zone, and Yongchu-dong in the Yongsong zone. The project to move them here has started since 2003, and is still underway. Some of them are pro-Japanese or anti-communist figures, but we also included them for broader political goals,” said the graveyard guide.

Ki-Tae Kwon kkt@donga.com