KAL 858 Bomber 'Definitely N.Korean Agent'

    January 06, 2009 09:25

    Kim Hyun-hee (file photo)
    The biographer of the last surviving bomber of Korean Air flight 858 has dismissed recently resurfaced claims that the incident was in fact a plot by South Korean agencies. Noh Su-min, who wrote the book titled "I Now Want to Become a Woman," says Kim Hyun-hee was "definitely" a North Korean agent. It was the first comment on the matter by Noh, who had been avoiding the press since the issue made fresh headlines amid allegations that the previous administration encouraged a revisionist conspiracy theory of the 1987 incident that would make the military government of the time look bad.

    In a telephone interview with the Chosun Ilbo on Monday, Noh said, "I wanted to let the world know the real Kim that I've gotten to know after hearing that she has been going through intense pain due to a re-investigation on the bombing" under the last government.

    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established in 2005, reopened the case after it was already closed by the Supreme Court and the National Intelligence Service, citing suspicions that the bombing was not in fact carried out by three North Korean agents, of whom Kim is the only survivor.

    "I spent more than two years with Kim when writing her biography. I got to know her in 1992 through the Agency for National Security Planning," the predecessor of the National Intelligence Service, Noh said. "I felt many times that she must have been a North Korean agent." Noh added one intelligence officer even asked her to feel out if Kim had really converted to the South. Noh added she had not seen Kim since the early 1990s.

    Kim later married a South Korean intelligence officer. In a series of open letters last year she alleged that NIS official leaned heavily on her to be interviewed for TV programs supporting the conspiracy theory, apparently to please the Roh Moo-hyun administration.

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