North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

NK Denies Involvement in Hwang Plot

Yonhap reports on a Uriminzokkri posting that denies the country’s involvment in attempting to assassinate Hwang Jang Yop, describing them as “groudnless acts of manipulation.”  According to authorities in South Korea, two men have confessed to being NK operatives working under orders from the NDC Reconnaissance Bureau:

The denial, carried by Uriminzokkiri, North Korea’s official Web site, came after prosecutors here said last month they arrested two North Korean officers who had entered South Korea on a mission to kill Hwang Jang-yop while posing as defectors.

Hwang, the highest-ranking North Korean official ever to defect to South Korea, is the architect of the communist state’s “self-reliance” mantra, having served in top party and academic posts and mentored the young Kim Jong-il.

Since defecting in 1997, he has urged ideological warfare against his former communist homeland, calling Kim a tyrant bent on maintaining his lavish lifestyle while starving his own people.

Uriminzokkiri said the alleged plot to kill the 88-year-old defector amounts to “a groundless act of manipulation” by South Korea, warning of “stern punishments” against Seoul.

“We are watching closely the confrontational rows that are turning more and more grave each day,” Uriminzokkiri, monitored in Seoul, said. The Web site argued the conservative South Korean government is trying to justify its hard-line position on North Korea by raising anti-Pyongyang sentiment among people.

Tension between the divided sides is high after a South Korean warship sank in March, killing dozens of seamen in a tragedy initially believed to be an attack by an elusive North Korean submarine.

An affiliate of 38 North