A shocking revelationDuring a press conference yesterday, Kim Hyun-hee, one of the North Korean agents responsible for bombing Korean Air Flight 858 in 1987 with the loss of 115 lives, made public an interesting and noteworthy story.
She reiterated that she had been responsible for planting the bomb and that North Korea was responsible, adding that she felt very sorry that some people still hold onto conspiracy theories.
More remarkable is Kim’s claim that the government and the National Intelligence Service during the Roh Moo-hyun administration pressured Kim to admit the act of terrorism was in fact a fabrication.
While Kim’s press conference largely addressed the issue of the alleged abductions of Japanese civilians by the North, we are very interested in Kim’s comments about conspiracy theories.
Ahead of yesterday’s press conference, Kim said the Roh administration’s National Intelligence Service and other government officials had asked her to cooperate with media groups investigating the legitimacy of the conspiracy theory. Incredibly, the Roh government, Kim claimed, exposed the whereabouts of herself and her family, who had been living anonymously in an undisclosed location, endangering their safety.
Kim said the NIS is currently conducting an internal investigation into whether or not she was pressured by the spy agency, and the agency confirmed it had formed a special task force to look into the matter.
At this stage, it is not clear whether or not the outcome of the investigation will ever be made public.
If Kim’s claim is true, it is indeed extremely shocking. Why are some people still suspicious that North Korean terrorists were not behind the bombing?
We urge the NIS to make public its findings once it has concluded its investigation. Furthermore, we believe prosecutors should also investigate the matter. If the NIS pressured Kim by disclosing the whereabouts of herself and her family, the organization may well be guilty of a criminal act.
It is also necessary to look at why a conspiracy theory about the Korean Air tragedy became so widespread during the Roh administration. After all, if what Kim claims is true, who ordered the NIS to put pressure on Kim?
The conspiracy theorists believe the South Korean government brought down the plane to influence the 1987 presidential election.
How much longer do we have to live with such a theory?