October 13, 2010 10:16
The wife and son of former North Korean Workers Party secretary Hwang Jang-yop killed themselves after he left them behind and defected to South Korea in 1997. Former president Kim Young-sam made the claim Tuesday when he visited the memorial altar for Hwang, who died Sunday aged 87, at the Asan Medical Center in Seoul.
"After Hwang fled from North Korea to China, his wife and son committed suicide and one of his daughters also died," Kim said. "How lonely he must have been because he had no family" in the South. It was already widely believed that his wife killed herself.
A member of the funeral committee said Hwang "left one son and three daughters behind in the North. It seems his wife killed herself after he fled the North and his third daughter became crippled when she jumped out of a truck that was taking her to a concentration camp. It's not known what became of her."
But a South Korean government official said the claims are unconfirmed.
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