Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trained North Korean Assassin Reborn as Pastor

Kim Shin Jo is a protestant minister - the gentle leader of his church. But the 69-year-old is best known by history as a trained killer. Three decades ago, he was the face of evil and terror for a generation of Koreans - a North Korean commando fighter who came into Seoul to assassinate the South Korean president at the time, Park Jung Hee.

In January, 1968, 31 North Korean commandos managed to slip across the border, through the woods, and make it within a few hundred meters of the president's residence. But a South Korean police officer confronted them. A gunfight ensued.

In the end, more than 30 South Koreans were killed. All of the North Korean commandos were killed, except one who managed to make it back into North Korea and Kim Shin Jo, who was captured. Kim later worked for the South Korean military, became a citizen, married and had a family. Then he became a minister. He is now the country's symbol of redemption.

Kim is living proof that even the hardest of hearts in this conflict can change. Kim reflected on footage of himself held captive in 1968. "On that day, Kim Shin Jo died," Kim said. "I was reborn. I got my second life. And I'm thankful for that."


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