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NK Assassins Spent 6 Years Prepping for Mission

Posted April. 22, 2010 05:36,   


Two North Korean spies who plotted to assassinate the highest-ranking North Korean official to defect to South Korea spent six years preparing for their mission.

The two men were meticulous in learning how to adapt to life in South Korea before posing as defectors in their attempt to kill Hwang Jang-yeop, former secretary of the ruling North Korean Workers’ Party. For example, they learned how to repair South Korean cars in the North.

Seoul prosecutors and the National Intelligence Service yesterday said they got a confession from Kim Myung Ho, who said he belongs to the intelligence unit of the North’s Defense Ministry. According to prosecutors, Kim learned how to repair South Korean cars to get mechanic certificates and settle down in South Korea, and after being selected as a spy, he had watched South Korean soap operas to gain a better understanding of South Korean society. Training in automotive repair is considered one of “special educations” by the North to help spies settle down in the South.

The second suspect, Tong Myong Kwan, was sent to South Korea along with Kim in November last year. Pretending to be Hwang’s relative, Tong said he was directly ordered by Kim Yong Chol, head of the North Korean intelligence unit, to kill Hwang before his dispatch to the South.

Prosecutors and the national intelligence agency said they will continue searching for other North Korean spies hiding in the country.