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NK involvement suspected in murder of judge’s daughter: dossier

April 11, 2017 - 15:59 By Jung Min-kyung
A declassified diplomatic dossier has revealed suspicions that North Korea may have been involved in the death of the daughter of a Myanmarese judge, who sentenced one of its terrorist agents to death for the 1983 Rangoon Bombing.

The justice had tried two North Korean suspects in the attack on a South Korean diplomatic delegation in the capital city of the Southeast Asian country. The daughter died in 1985, while studying in Japan.

A page from declassified documents explains North Korea’s alleged involvement in the death of a daughter of the Myanmarese judge who tried North Korean suspects in the 1983 Rangoon Bombing. (Yonhap)

The 230,000-page document, released by the South Korean government Tuesday, does not reveal the circumstances of her death, but suspects the North’s retribution for her father’s rulings.

“It was a case that we could not get to the bottom of. Hints of North Korean cigarettes were found at the scene and the victim did not show any signs of suicidal tendencies prior to her death,” reads the document, which was a diplomatic cable sent by then South Korean Ambassador to Geneva Lee Sang-ok after meeting Myanmar’s envoy in December 1986.

The Rangoon Bombing was a failed attempt by the North to assassinate former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan, who was expected to pay tribute to Myanmar’s independence hero Aung San at the national cemetery. The attack killed a total of 17 South Korean high-ranking officials and four Burmese at the scene, including South Korea’s deputy prime minister, foreign and trade ministers. Chun survived due to traffic congestion that delayed his arrival.

The Myanmar police identified three North Koreans as suspects. One of them was killed in the process of arrest and the other two identified as Kim Jin-soo and Kang Min-chul were captured after Kim’s unsuccessful suicide attempt.

Kim was sentenced to capital punishment and was executed in 1984, while Kang was sentenced to life imprisonment for his cooperation with the investigation.

The bombing scarred Myanmar’s reputation in the global society for its incompetence in security during a diplomatic event.

The document said, “Myanmar found it necessary to prove they were capable of initiating a proper investigation on their own and in result, South Korea’s patience with the process was an act of respect for Myanmar’s bruised ego.”

By Jung Min-kyung (