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Talk to remember ’forgotten’ figure in Korean history

There is one enemy of the state whom Seoul has not paid enough attention to according to a former senior adviser to the head of South Korean national security.

Ra Jong-yil, a former ambassador and a professor at Hanyang University, will be giving a lecture for the Korean branch of the Royal Asiatic Society on Kang Min-cheol.

Kang, who Ra calls a “forgotten terrorist,” was one of three North Koreans sent in 1983 to assassinate then-South Korean President Chun Do-hwan in Myanmar ― a plot that failed but killed 21 people.

“I was intrigued by (the fact) that there were few who took the Aungsan terrorist attack as an incident that took place in the context of North-South relations.

“There was nobody, to my memory, who took the bombing as a response by the North to the Gwangju uprising that had taken place three years earlier,” Ra said.

After the attempted assassination, the North denied responsibility for the attack and Kang was left stateless as a prisoner for life in the Insein prison in Myanmar.

Ra will be giving the lecture in Seoul at Somerset Palace, near Anguk Station, at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 27.

For more information, visit the Royal Asiatic Society-Korea Branch website.