[Edited to remove The Hankyoreh’s bourgeois liberal nationalist bias, and considerable anonymously-attributed rumor-mongering. I can find no support to the story in Chinese media. – Zuo Shou]
May 16, 2012
By Kim Kyu-won, staff writer
…Kim Young-hwan and three colleagues were reportedly arrested on March 29 in Dalian, China by intelligence agencies on charges of violating the country‘s national security law. [They] are suspected of having sent defectors back into North Korea [sic] to promote democracy [sic]. Their detention has been made public through the testimonies of [unidentified] other[s]…
On May 15, a figure familiar with Kim and the other three men, said, “The defectors they sent into North Korea are said to have distributed leaflets and collected information. I know that the object of their activities was bringing down the North Korean [sic] regime…”
Reports suggest that the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) targeted five individuals for arrest, but one of them evaded capture and is now on the run. The source, said, “He left his passport behind, so he’s unable to come back to Korea.” The source claimed that three of the five were former students…from North Jeolla province.
“…they are all influenced by Kim Young-hwan. I know that they followed Kim when he turned to the New Right movement…”
Some have raised suspicions about the relationship between the arrested individuals and South Korean intelligence services. They have been traveling to and from China for between five and ten years, supporting defectors, and are known to have run restaurants and internet cafes in order to fund the operations . Some suspect that the individuals received financial support from South Korean intelligence agencies . An official at the National Intelligence Service [issued a boilerplate denial]…
An official at South Korea‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) stated with regard to the incident, “Of the four individuals, only Kim Young-hwan wanted consular access, so the [South Korean] consul general in Shenyang met him on April 26. We have requested telephone calls and meetings with the other three individuals, who signed documents waiving their rights to consular access, to confirm their exact intentions….
The four individuals are currently being held by the MSS as they await indictment. MOFAT reported that it was not yet certain whether they would be handed over to a court….The MOFAT official stated that individuals convicted of violating China’s national security law are subject to sentences of up to life imprisonment for ringleaders and up to ten years in jail for accomplices.
In the 1980s, Kim Young-hwan was a pro-North Korea [sic] activist. He is widely known as the writer of “Gangcheol Seosin,” a work that served as the textbook of the left-wing Jusapa faction of the 1980s. In the 1980s he was a scholar of North Korea‘s Juche ideology as part of the National Liberation movement. He visited North Korea and met premier Kim Il-sung in 1991.
After his visit to North Korea, Kim…turned against North Korea…
Original article link: http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_northkorea/533087.html