Lecture Video: A Forgotten Terrorist

Kang Mincheol was a captain of North Korean special forces. His military service number was 9970. He was one of the three terrorists sent by North Korea to Burma in 1983 to kill the South Korean President, Chun Do-hwan, while the latter was on a state visit there. The group of three terrorists successfully detonated the bombs they had hidden on the roof of Aungsan Mausoleum killing most of the South Korean delegates gathered there to pay reverence at the place. They missed, however, their main target the President who survived through a chain of lucky accidents. After the attack the terrorists were left on their own to escape from the country. North Korea did not only had no preparations to help them out of the country but also washed their hands completely off the whole incident, insisting that they had nothing to do with it. In encounters with the Burmese security forces, one was killed and the other two Kang and a major were seriously wounded and captured. Kang had sustained grave wounds throughout his body. Both were sentenced to death. But Kang was given a reprieve and put in the Insein prison where he died in May, 2008 after surviving 25 years on two meals a day. Hardly anybody in Korea, neither in the South nor in the North, paid any attention to his death.

Ambassador Ra Jong-yil is currently a University Distinguished Professor at Hanyang University, Seoul. After studying Political Science at Seoul National University he received a PhD in International Relations from the University of Cambridge (UK). He then became a professor of Political Science and Diplomacy at Kyunghee University, Seoul, where he held various senior administrative posts. In the course of his distinguished career, he has held many important positions. In 1996 he was appointed Special Aide to Kim Dae-jung on Diplomacy and Security. In 1998-9 he served as First & Second Director, National Intelligence Service. From 2001-3 he was Korean Ambassador to the United Kingdom. 2003-4 he was Senior Advisor to the President for National Security. From 2004-7 he served as Ambassador to Japan. From 2007 until 2011 he was President of the Woosuk University. he is currently the Chairman of the Special Committee on Human Rights in North Korea, National Commission for Human Rights, and a member of the Presidential Committee of Preparation for Unification. He has authored many books and innumerable articles.

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