Ex-N. Korean spy earns doctorate on Pyongyang’s intelligence activities
Published : 2013-03-13 19:44
Updated : 2013-03-13 19:44
A former North Korean spy who was caught leading an espionage mission in South Korea two decades ago has earned a doctorate degree in South Korea for his studies on the communist country’s intelligence and spy activities.
Kim Dong-sik, a 48-year-old former North Korean agent, received his degree at Kyungnam University last month for his thesis on North Korea’s propaganda activities toward the South. Kim is currently a researcher at the Institute for National Security Strategy, a sub-unit of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service.
Kim settled in South Korea after he was captured by authorities in a shootout in September 1995. In the gun battle, a fellow North Korean agent was killed.
In his doctorate thesis, Kim gave detailed information about how North Korea’s propaganda activities have changed over the past few decades through academic and historic documents, personal experiences as well as interviews with former North Korean spies.
North Korea’s propaganda strategies toward the South took on a different form in the post-Cold War era, but that does not mean “the North has given up its original goal to topple the South Korean system and finally turn it into a socialist system like North Korea,” Kim said in the paper. (Yonhap News)
The North had previously intervened greatly in the formation of progressive political parties in South Korea as part of efforts to foster a group of South Korean followers of the socialist North Korean system who could help with the country’s secret propaganda activities in the South, he said.
The ideological warfare between the countries peaked during the Cold War era with North Korea sending a stream of agents on missions to the South.
Kim also claimed that the North’s powerful Reconnaissance General Bureau was created because Pyongyang wanted a smooth power transition from its late leader Kim Jong-il to his son, incumbent leader Kim Jong-un. Kim Jong-un took power after the sudden death of his father in late 2011.
“The bureau was created for the new regime,” Kim said, forecasting that the country could do away with the new body once the present leader seizes complete control over the country.
Kim’s thesis is noteworthy because South Korea’s Minister of Unification Ryoo Kihl-jae had advised him on his work. Rhoo took office on Monday. (Yonhap News)