Go to contents

Spy Suspect Was on Party’s Fast Track

Posted November. 01, 2006 03:01,   


It was confirmed that Jang Min-ho, on suspicion of being a spy and a key player of the Ilsimhoe was on the list of candidates, a list of young talent made by the ruling party during the Kim Dae-jung administration in 1999.

Shindonga, the monthly magazine of The Dong-A Ilbo, obtained the internal document of the then ruling party and reported the document on up-and-comers in every sector. The list includes 300 people, categorized them into six such as political, civil and social, experts, academic, feminist, labor and farmer groups, and specified their careers and other important information. Jang was classified as a member of the expert group.

At that time, student activists during the 1980s were the most coveted by the leadership of the ruling party. A number of ruling Uri Party lawmakers, who happen to know five people arrested along with Jang, entered politics by the recommendation of President Kim Dae-jung at that time.

How Jang, who organized Ilsimhoe according to the order by North Korea in 1997, was included on the list is still unknown.

Given that he is classified as expert group, he might have included on the list because he is a promising IT expert.

In 1999, he was working at iPark, one of the global IT Korea promotion organizations founded by the Ministry of Information and Communication in Silicon Valley, U.S. But when he was in Korea during 1993 to 1998, he had acquainted with student activists-turned-politicians and likely to be recommended by then ruling party members among them as an IT expert.

Being an IT expert and friend of politicians who were once student activists, he had it all to be a suitable candidate.

Furthermore, it was when venture business fever just started thanks to the enthusiastic support of the government. When he came back to Korea in 1999, he established an IT venture business.

But Jang visited North Korea right before he returned to Korea following the visit the year before. Given that, the possibility that he made a contact with politicians on purpose cannot be excluded.

woogija@donga.com wiseweb@donga.com