North assassins foiled in bid to kill top defector

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North assassins foiled in bid to kill top defector

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North Korean defector Hwang Jang-yop, who was responsible for writing North Korea’s official state ideology before defecting in 1997, speaks during an on-the-record roundtable discussion hosted by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, on March 31. [AFP/YONHAP]
황장엽 전 북한노동당 비서가 3월31일 워싱턴 DC에서 국제전략문제연구소(CSIS)가 주최한 공개토론회에서 말하고 있다. 황장엽은 1997년 남한으로 망명하기 전까지 북한의 주체사상을 이론적으로 정립했던 인물이다. [AFP/연합]

Two North Korean agents sent to South Korea to assassinate Hwang Jang-yop, 87, the highest-ranking official ever to defect from Pyongyang, have been arrested, intelligence and law enforcement authorities announced yesterday.

*assassin : 암살자
*assassinate : 암살하다

최고위층 탈북자인 황장엽(87)을 암살하기 위해 북한이 남파한 공작원 2명을 체포했다고 국가정보원과 검찰이 어제 밝혔다.

According to the National Intelligence Service and prosecutors, Kim Myong-ho, 36, and Dong Myong-gwan, 36, have been arrested. Both men were majors of the North Korean Army’s reconnaissance bureau, the authorities said. The two agents were ordered in November by the bureau’s chief, Colonel General Kim Yong-chol, to assassinate Hwang, the former secretary of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party.

국정원과 검찰에 따르면, 북한 정찰총국 소속 소좌(소령) 김명호(36)와 동명관(36)을 검거했다. 이들은 지난해 11월 정찰총국장 김영철 상장(중장)에게서 황장엽 전 북한노동당 비서를 암살하라는 지시를 받았다.

Hwang, who used to be ranked the 26th most powerful person in the North, defected to the South in February 1997 by taking refuge in the South Korean consulate in Beijing. Since his defection, Hwang has faced numerous assassination threats. Hwang is the architect of juche, the self-reliance ideology of the North Korean regime.

*take refuge in~ : ~에 피난하다
*consulate : 영사관
*self-reliance ideology : 주체사상

북한에서 권력서열 26위였던 황장엽은 1997년 2월 베이징의 한국 총영사관을 통해 망명했다. 황은 탈북이후 여러 번 살해 위협에 시달려 왔다. 황은 북한 정권의 주체사상을 정립한 인물이다.

According to the authorities, the agents were sent to China last December and received training. The men then smuggled themselves into Thailand posing as North Korean defectors with the intention of being arrested by Thai authorities. Kim was sent to the South in January this year and Dong the next month. “The Thai authorities send arrested North Korean defectors automatically to South Korea, and the two agents took advantage of the policy,” said a prosecution source.

*smuggle : 밀반입하다
*take advantage of~ : ~을 이용하다, ~을 기회로 활용하다
정보당국에 따르면, 김과 동은 지난해 12월 중국으로 보내져 교육을 받고 탈북자로 태국 당국에 체포될 의도로 태국으로 밀입국했다. 김은 올해 1월에, 동은 2월에 한국으로 보내졌다. 검찰 관계자는 “태국 당국이 체포한 탈북자들을 자동으로 남한에 인계하는데, 이들은 이 정책을 이용했다”고 설명했다.

The covers of the two agents, however, were exposed during National Intelligence Service interviews upon their arrivals in the South. During follow-up interrogation, the two men confessed their mission to assassinate Hwang, prosecution sources said. Prosecution sources said the two men had attempted to kill themselves during interrogation. They are being watched around the clock to prevent suicide, the source said.

*follow-up : 후속 조치
*interrogation : 심문
*around the clock : 24시간 내내

그러나 입국후 국정원에서 조사받는 과정에서 신분이 드러났다. 추가 심문에서 이들은 황장엽 암살 계획을 자백했다고 검찰 관계자가 말했다. 검찰 관계자는 이들은 심문 받는 동안 자살을 시도했으며 지금은 자살을 막기 위해 이들을 24시간 감시하고 있다고 말했다.

JoongAng Daily 1면 기사 Wednesday, April 21, 2010


번역: 이무영 정치사회팀장(mooyoung@joongang.co.kr)
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