Friday, December 29, 2006

North Korean Defector Gets Death Threats

South Korean police are investigating a threatening package sent to former North Korean Workers' Party official Hwang Jang-yup, who defected to the South in 1997.

Freedom North Korea Broadcast, which Hwang chairs, received a 20x40 cm package wrapped in yellow paper. It was addressed to Hwang, and a sender's name and phone number were written on it, but the number did not exist.

"When we opened it, we found Hwang's photo smeared with red paint and a 37 cm long hand ax,” the station's president Kim Sung-min said. An enclosed letter added, “Hwang should shut his dirty mouth” and “Traitors must pay the price.”

Hwang has been subject to such threats several times, usually after he made disparaging remarks about the North. In March 2003, Hwang received a package with a scroll-sized photo of Hwang stabbed through with a 30 cm knife and the written message “I will kill you.” That was right after Hwang visited Japan's parliament to testify about human rights conditions in the North.

"The threats keep coming, but Hwang just seems to accept them and says he could not do anything if he was scared by them,” Kim said.


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