중앙데일리

Agency to seek KAL bombing truth

July 12,2007
The truth commission said yesterday it will reinvestigate two of the defining moments of Korea’s modern history: the 1987 Korean Air bombing by North Korea and the 1974 assassination of First Lady Yuk Young-soo.
The organization, formally known as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, issued a press release yesterday and said its members will try to answer unresolved questions, including whether the South Korean spy agency was involved in the explosion of Korean Air Flight 858 over the waters near Myanmar.
On Nov. 28, 1987, the flight left Baghdad, Iraq, for Seoul via to Abu Dhabi and Bangkok. The explosion killed all 115 passengers and crew aboard.
At the time, the investigative authorities announced that two North Korean agents were responsible for the act, ordered by Kim Jong-il in an attempt to undermine South Korea’s 1988 Olympics bid.
The National Intelligence Service reinvestigated the case in December 2005, and announced in 2006 that the Chun Doo Hwan regime had used the incident to help get Roh Tae-woo elected as his successor by stoking North Korean fears.
The spy agency, however, did not interview Kim Hyon-hui and other intelligence officials of the time. Seventy-two members of the victims’ families filed a petition to the truth commission in November of last year.
The commission said it will focus on whether the nation’s main spy agency at the time had known about or taken part in the incident.
The commission also said it will look into the assassination of the first lady at the Aug. 15 Liberation Day ceremony in 1974. Shortly after Yuk was shot to death, Moon Se-gwang, an ethnic Korean from Japan, was arrested at the scene. He was convicted of the assassination and executed on Dec. 20, 1974.
The differences between the investigative reports by Korean and Japanese authorities have been challenged, the commission said. “Despite the historic importance of the case, the initial investigation left many questions. It is important to lay bare the truth,” the commission’s release said.


By Ser Myo-ja Staff Writer [myoja@joongang.co.kr]



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