Top N.Korean Defector Dies in Seoul

  • VOA News

    October 10, 2010 18:07

    Hwang Jang-yop

    South Korean police say the highest-ranking North Korean official ever to defect to the South was found dead at his home in Seoul Sunday.

    Initial reports say 87-year-old Hwang Jang-yop was found dead in his bathroom Sunday, and probably died of a heart attack.

    Hwang was the chief architect of North Korea's guiding "juche," or self-reliance philosophy, and one of the country's most powerful officials when he and his aide defected at Seoul's Beijing embassy in 1997. He had tutored Kim Jong-il on the ideology. Since defecting, Hwang has lived in Seoul under tight police security. He has written books and delivered speeches condemning Kim's government as authoritarian.

    Sunday is the 65th anniversary of North Korea's ruling communist party.

    Some information in this story was provided by AP and AFP.

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