How many North Korean spies did this man train?

The major South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo is completely rejecting the fabrications put forward by Mr. Kim Yong-nam, who was reunited briefly with his mother yesterday:

Who would believe that a wooden raft drifted hundreds of nautical miles out to sea into Northern waters? Or if Kim found himself in waters near the island, a North Korean ship must have infiltrated deep into South Korean waters. And who would believe that a man leading such a happy life in the North did not once in nearly 30 years write to his family in the South, apparently insensible that his mother must be out of her mind with anxiety? Apparently, the press conference felt like a clumsy monodrama that embarrassed both the performer and his audience.

The government was there. What will it do? Will it nod sagely, say, “I see, that’s what happened,” and turn its back again?

Also, Chosun Ilbo interviews a high-ranking South Korean government official, with details that I have not seen in any Japanese newspaper:

Kim Young-nam and four other South Koreans kidnapped in 1977-8 when they were high school students are alive in North Korea and working to train North Korean spies on how to pass for South Korean, National Intelligence Service Director Kim Seung-kyu said Thursday. The NIS chief said this was confirmed by testimony from North Korean agents arrested in South Korea in 1997 and North Koreans who defected since 2000.

BBC also mentions the connection:

He is one of nearly 500 South Koreans who are believed to have been taken by the North, many of them used to train North Korean spies.

While watching the broadcast with Mr. Kim on Japanese TV, I felt like a was watching a very dangerous man, who had managed to survive in North Korea, by becoming one of them.


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