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Kim Jong Ils Hidden War

Solving the mystery of Kim Il Sungs death and the mass starvations in North Korea

Hagiwara Ryo

Table of Contents
Foreword / 4 Chapter One It all began with Ceauescus execution / 7
1 The Russian reporter in Pyongyang / 7 2 Kim Jong Ils fear / 11 3 Kim Il Sungs reprinted speech / 12 4 The Soviet Union abandons North Korea/ 16 5 Kim Il Sung rapidly strengthens the military / 19

Chapter Two

Staging a nuclear crisis / 23

1 A meticulously calculated game of risk / 23 2 The history of North Koreas nuclear program / 27 3 Clinton debates war or appeasement/ 31 4 Kim Jong Ils standing rises with the nuclear crisis / 35 5 The U.S. has signed the instrument of surrender / 38

Chapter Three

The clash between Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il / 43

1 Kim Il Sung reprimands Kim Jong Il over aid / 43 2 Report of the investigative mission of the UN WFP/ 45 3 Kim Il Sung endeavors to revive agriculture/ 48 4 Kim Jong Il watches coolly / 51 5 The father-son struggle over the South-North Summit Meeting / 53 6 Kim Il Sungs sudden death / 56 7 Why were there no doctors? / 60 8 Kim Il Sung promoted thermal power a day before his death / 62

Chapter Four

Selective food supply distribution / 65

1 Playing the natural disaster card / 65 2 The number of famine deaths / 67 3 What the UN aid specialist witnessed/ 71 4 Discriminatory distribution of food aid / 74 5 Vulnerable people / 77 6 Selective food supply distribution / 80 7 Meeting Sue Lautze/ 83

Chapter Five

Exterminating the hostile class by famine

1 The insights of a high-ranking U.S. official / 88 2 The testimony of the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee / 90 3 Meeting Andrew S. Natsios / 92 4 Exterminating the hostile class/ 95 5 Why was Hamgyong abandoned? / 98 6 War without gunfire / 100

Chapter Six

There was enough food / 104

1 The march of hardship / 104 2 Normalization of martial law - Military first policy / 107 3 They should not have starved to death / 110 4 A cowards paradise - Strong and flourishing nation / 114 5 The vow of the North Korean refugee woman / 118

Final Chapter

What must be done now / 124

1 Japan must not normalize national ties with Kim Jong Il / 124 2 Resolution to the kidnappings and total abolition of the nuclear program / 126 3 Only pressure will force the Norths hand / 128 4 Recall international sanctions which abolished apartheid / 130 5 Accepting death for survival / 132 6 The song of the Cando partisans, once again / 135

Postscript / 139 Bibliography / 148

English Language Texts / 148 Japanese Language Texts / 148 Korean Language Texts / 149

About the author / 150

About the translator / 150

Tables / 151
Table A Distribution Conditions for Chagang Province / 151 Table B Food Distribution in North Hwanghae Province / 151 Table C Food Distribution in North Pyongyang / 152 Table D Ten Major Agricultural Regions / 152 Table E Three Marginal Agricultural Areas / 153 Table F Eight Great Disaster Areas / 153

The last fifteen years of North Korea have been shadowed by a series of bizarre events. In the early 1990s, there was the touch-and-go nuclear crisis with the U.S. In the mid-1990s, two to three million of North Koreas citizens are believed to have perished from famines. And in 1994, there was the sudden death of Kim Il Sung. These were significant events in the history of North Korea. If the nuclear crisis of the early 1990s had actually resulted in war, scientists calculated that the casualties would have numbered in the millions. Radioactive fallout from such a war would have also affected tens of millions more. The ashes of death would have been carried by the jct stream flying over the 30th and 40th parallel, between which the Korean peninsulas Pyongyang, Chinas Dalien, Washington DC in the U.S., and Japans Sendai are located. The nuclear ash would have spread over the skies of Japan, the Chinese mainland, and even as far as the U.S. The mass famine of North Korea which caused three million deaths is one of the greatest human tragedies of the second half of the twentieth century. How could ten percent of the population of a country with some 20 million people starve to death? Could it not have been avoided? Even more speculations have been spawned by the sudden death of Great Leader Kim Il Sung, who had been energetically directing important conferences only a day before his death. Researching these three highly suspect events, I was increasingly convinced that they were closely interrelated. None of them appeared natural, but rather, appeared to be the results of artificial orchestration. This revelation came about from meetings with various North Korean refugees. Several hundred North Koreans were fleeing starvation and defecting to South Korea. While talking to them, I noticed something similar in their comments. If our Lord (Kim Il Sung) was alive, we would not be suffering like this. Most of the refugees expressed this sentiment in different ways. These were people who had suffered tremendously and had witnessed family members starve to death. The North Korean refugees believed that if Kim Il Sung had been alive, the starvations would not have occurred. The great famine, they argued, had come with Kim Jong Ils rule. Does that mean the famine was caused by Kim Jong Ils poor management? It seemed to be an improbably large-scale catastrophe to have been caused from simple misadministration. The starvation would have perhaps been comprehensible during North Koreas most difficult yearsbetween the collapse of the Soviet Union, its main benefactor, in 1991 and its showdown with the U.S. in 1994. But the mass famine occurred after North Korea had reconciled with the U.S. and had started to receive massive amounts of crude oil and food supplies. 4

Was there no way to prevent famine in such a small country like North Korea? My questions and doubts only multiplied as I struggled to come up with answers. During that time, I pursued my investigations in the U.S., South Korea, China, and Japan and heard the valuable testimonies of many people. I was rewarded with insight and advice from skilled researchers and from their books and reports. I spent a full three years and nine months on investigating and writing this book and came to the following conclusions: (1) The mass famine had been intentionally created by Kim Jong Il. The famine was an unprecedented and planned extermination of several millions of his countrymen. In many senses, this was a war instigated by Kim Jong Il. (2) This war could not have been waged while his father, Kim Il Sung, was still alive. Kim Il Sung was therefore the greatest obstacle to Kim Jong Ils plans. This war would not have been possible without removing this obstacle. And so, in another war, Kim Il Sung was removed. (3) Kim Jong Il played the role of planning and orchestrating all three events of the 1990s the nuclear crisis, Kim Il Sungs death, and the mass famines. Kim Jong Il staged the nuclear crisis together with his father who hoped to teach his son ways in which to confront the U.S. The apprentice son soon overtook his father. Kim Jong Il applied lessons learnt in the nuclear crisis to carry out the subsequent two warsone against his father and another against his political enemies. What underscores all three of these historical events was the cowardice of Kim Jong Il. Terrorized by the thought of being killed by his subjects in a popular uprising, Kim Jong Il was struggling for his own survival. This cowardice has been the primary driving force behind Kim Jong Ils strange behavior and continues to be so to this day, as he struggles to save his own skin. This book offers an account of these three bizarre and significant historical events and traces the footsteps of Kim Jong Il. We must not forget that his actions and motivations are of paramount importance to the Japanese public and our nations peace. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi revisited North Korea as I was writing this on May 22nd, 2004. Little do we know what Kim Jong Il had promised him, but Koizumi announced the goal to normalize Japanese-North Korean ties in the next two years. He has recently even suggested that ties could be normalized within the year. The Prime Ministers false promise and the disgraceful sight of several opposition party politicians backing his unrealistic goal can only be considered a bad joke. We must not forget the Japanese nationals who had been abducted to North Korea. They are praying day and night for freedom. We must also not forget the second-generation Koreans who had returned to North Korea in the 1960s and the relatives which they left behind in Japan. Above all, we must not forget the twenty million citizens of the Democratic Peoples 5

Republic of Korea. What can be done in the face of Kim Jong Il and his nuclear threat? I offer this book to the broader public to raise these difficult questions. I do not expect an easy reception. Washington, D.C. Ryo Hagiwara

Chapter One
It all began with Ceauescus execution 1 The Russian reporter in Pyongyang

I returned to Beijing for the first time in 12 years in the early autumn of 2003. Bicycles had been replaced by car horns and exhaust fumes in the streets and the city was transformed by construction sites in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Dust and noise was everywhere. Luxurious mega-hotels, called fandian in mandarin Chinese, had sprouted across the city. It was in one of these large hotels, the Beijing Traders Hotel, that I met the Russian journalist Alexander Platkovskiy. I came to know Mr Platkovskiy after reading his thesis, Nuclear Blackmail and North Koreas Search for a Place in the Sun, in the book The North Korean Nuclear Program which I discovered in Washington, DC. The Russian journalist describes how Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il were terrified by the disintegration of the Eastern European socialist regimes in 1989 and the execution of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauescu on December 25th of the same year, following a popular uprising in Romania. Kim father and son were quaking in fear, expecting North Korea to also face a similar meltdown.
The massacre of Ceauescu in Bucharest threw Kim Il Sungs residence into a shock state, and for quite some time his son was unable to regain his composure. This account came to the author through Soviet diplomats well-versed in the court affairs of Pyongyang. Events unfolded rapidly, as history made a sharp turn. The North Korean regime felt defenseless in the face of the approaching threat. In fact, it seemed like its very survival was at risk under these new conditions. (The North Korean Nuclear Program: Security, Strategy, and New Perspectives from Russia, Routledge, 2000. pg 96)

Mr Platkovskiy was a correspondent for Soviet newspaper, the Komsomolskaya Pravda, in Pyongyang when the Eastern European socialist states began disintegrating. He was therefore well-placed to observe the movements of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Fifteen writers contributed to the The North Korean Nuclear Program, published in New York and London from Routledge. All of the writers, except one, were Russians. They included former Soviet Union embassy staff in Pyongyang, former correspondents for Soviet newspapers, and economic analysts. Being well-placed and well-informed on North Korean issues, their reports contain many valuable insights. Mr Platkovskiy writes,
The elite, Kims family in particular, was united by their fear of the revenge that awaited them in case of the aggravation of the crisis and the regimes seemingly inevitable collapse. This fear was of a corporate nature, especially under North Korean conditions, where the members of the ruling hierarchy - top patty officials and their family members - are equally answerable for the crimes of the

regime. Even those who themselves were victims of repression had engaged in enough criminal behavior that they could not expect any mercy. (ibid. pg 98)

Among the disintegrating Eastern European regimes, only Romania experienced a bloody popular insurrection. Mr Platkovskiys observation of how badly Kim Jong Il was shaken by the Romania situation provided a major breakthrough in my research. I had been living in the United States since June of 2000, borrowing a one-room apartment in the suburbs of Washington DC to research the North Korean problem. Only a year earlier, in May of 1999, the so-called Guideline Law (shuhen jitai ho law on emergencies around Japan) had been passed in the Japanese Diet. The law had been enacted immediately after North Korea had launched a Taepodong missile into the seas off the Sanriku coast in Japan and an unidentified ship, assumed to be North Korean, had violated Japanese territorial waters. At the time I was trawling through books and reports, researching U.S. policy towards the Korean peninsula and how Japan should be dealing with North Korea. I had reached an impasse in my research, and was unable to find an angle to unravel these issues. In these circumstances, I came across Mr Platkovskiys report. I decided I should meet him and ask him directly about conditions in North Korea in 1989. Where would he be now? If he had been a correspondent in Pyongyang ten years ago, I assumed he would have returned to the home office in Moscow with a more senior post. I felt slightly wary of going all the way to Moscow. It was far and expensive, but I still wanted to meet him. When I later learned from a bureau chief of a Japanese wire agency that Mr Platkovskiy was in Beijing, I almost leapt with joy. I had plans to return to Japan in August of 2003. I contacted an old Japanese friend (I will call him Y) living in Beijing and asked for his help in arranging a meeting with the Russian journalist. Mr Platkovskiy was a slender, small man for a Russian. He must have been in his mid-fifties and gave the impression of a frank and warm-hearted man. We were talking freely as soon as I told him that I had also lived in Pyongyang as a correspondent. Since he had not used his Korean recently, he preferred to speak in Chinese. Mr Y interpreted for us. I introduced myself. I had also been a correspondent in Pyongyang for Akahata, the Japanese communist party daily, between 1972 and 1973, but was eventually kicked out of the country by the North Korean authorities. What was the reason? Mr Platkovskiy asked. Its not quite clear, but I was considered, in diplomatic lingo, persona non grata. After returning to Japan, the Chosen Soren (General Association of Korean Residents in Japan) accused me of having slipped into the DPRK as a spy. The Chosen Soren people must have been told that by North Korea. 8

So you were expelled on charges of spying ... sounds similar to my story. I had been in Pyongyang from 1986, but when I returned home temporarily in December of 1990, a warning letter arrived from Pyongyang, telling me to never return. I asked him about the mood in Pyongyang in December of 1989 during Romanian uprising. The North Korean press department, with whom I was in close contact, seemed considerably nervous. As you know, Romania was very friendly with North Korea at the time. It was hard for the North Koreans to imagine that Ceauescu, the great leader of Romania, and his wife had been executed. They were uncertain how to report this news from Romania. The North Korean journalists tried to write, but in the end, their superiors censored it and were unable to publish anything. - So it was a considerably tense period? The North Koreans were very eager to learn what had happened in Romania from me. When I explained what I knew, they simply listened in silence, nodding their heads. They wouldnt dare to comment at all, but just nodded their heads. - I see. Did this nervousness exist, not only among journalists, but the party cadres as well? It was the same with the cadres. In the Thirteenth World Youth and Student Festival in Pyongyang held in July of 1989, a lot of them tried to speak to me directly. But when I tried to get their comments on the Romanian situation, they all refused. They wouldnt give me any interviews, however often I asked. They were clearly shaken up and on edge. - You wrote that Kim Jong Il was terribly frightened by the execution of Ceauescu. Where did you gain that information? From my friends in the Soviet Embassy and Romanian Embassy. They did not have any details. You must know have experienced the secretive atmosphere of Pyongyang, particularly around the Kim father and son. The situation has hardly changed since then. - What was Kim Jong Il doing at the time? He had vanished into thin air, that was sure. He had simply disappeared for two weeks, although Kim Il Sung was in Pyongyang. - Where could he have been hiding? Perhaps Kumgangsan or Myohynagsan I dont know. Mr Platkovskiy said he had written everything he knew in his report and that he did not have any more information. I was disappointed, as I had hoped to gather more details. But there is always the risk of leaving empty-handed from any interview. I decided to take things in stride and thanked Mr Platkovskiy. Without his observation that Kim Jong Il was terrified by

Ceauescus execution, I may not have directed my research in this area. Perhaps this book itself may never have been written. He had given me a very valuable clue. Mr Platkovskiy described the chaotic conditions in Pyongyang in his report. During that period, it was the loss of authority and control over the economy, the army, and society - as a result of the catastrophic depression and impossibility of simply providing for the populations existence - that became the main threat to the regime, which found itself on the verge of collapse ... Kim Il Sung, who had himself learned in his youth the lessons of the guerrilla movement, was clearly aware of the consequences he and his associates could expect if food riots were to erupt. Suppression of such riots would require the cooperation of the Korean Peoples Army, which itself was already beginning to drift from reliable state control. Under such conditions the nuclear card seemed to be the regimes last hope. Mr Platkovskiy had correctly pointed out that Kim father and son, backed into a corner, had chosen to play the nuclear card in a desperate ploy for survival. The direction of my research was largely influenced by the insights of Mr Platkovskiy. After meeting Mr Platkovskiy, I joined Mr Y on his one-week research trip to Yanbian. I had asked Mr Y if I could join him during his interviews of researchers and traders in the area. Mr Y had consented willingly. We had determined the itinerary together from Washington and Beijing, and Mr Y had taken care of all hotel and flight reservations for us. Regretting having to leave Beijing so soon, I boarded the plane with Mr Y to Yanbian. Yanbian is officially known as the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China. Its capital is Yanji. The region, also known as Gando, is located in the southeast of Qilin Province, part of what was formerly Manchuria. It borders North Korea, which lies across the Tumen River. I could not learn anything new in Yanbian about what Kim Jong Il was doing when Ceauescu was executed. I had expected to unearth more information by getting closer to North Korea. The new information I acquired was not in the areas of my greatest interest. I also realized that China is still very much an ally of North Korea. It was basically forbidden to carry out research critical of North Korea in China and I discerned a certain amount of self-censorship among the people I interviewed. I arrived in Seoul via Beijing to continue my research on the Korean national holiday of Chusok in the month of September. I was to learn more about Kim Jong Ils fears from an unexpected source here.


Kim Jong Ils fear

I interviewed a number of North Korean specialists in Seoul about Kim Jong Ils behavior in December of 1989. Nobody knew anything. There arent any South Koreans researching that, a close South Korean journalist told me. Anybody researching so deeply would be made into an obagi. Obagi? Dont you say that in Japanese? About toppige? Oh, you mean obake ghosts? It appears that the only people interested in this area are the secret services. After the so-called Sunshine Policy was introduced, the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) transformed itself into a support group for the Kim Jong Il regime. The South Korean government and the KCIA have criticized and were on their guard against me for having an old-fashioned post-war mentality. The South Korean embassy in Japan had even sent a strongly-worded letter of protest concerning an article I had written criticizing Kim Dae Jungs regime in the Bungei Shunju (2001 August). The South Korean authorities were unlikely to tell me anything even if they knew what I was looking for. Was I going to leave Seoul empty-handed as well? I decided to take my last chances with a North Korean refugee acquaintance. I had called his cell phone countless times, but it had been turned off. Perhaps he had changed his number. In our last meeting, I had promised to meet him again and hear his story in greater detail. I was ready to give up and return to Japan. But on my last day in Seoul, my call connected. He agreed to meet me in the evening and directed me to a hotel in Gangnam, south of Hangang ward. He called himself Pak Myong Chol (pseudonym). The last time I had met him he wore a tie and suit, but this time he was wearing a bright yellow Hawaiian shirt. Unlike most North Koreans, he was stout and appeared even heavier and more imposing than before. I could feel the charisma of a man who had managed to survive the hell of North Korea and successfully climbed the political ladder to become a party cadre. After asking questions about food conditions in North Korea, I asked him if he knew anything about Kim Jong Il during the time of Ceauescus execution. Is it true that Kim Jong Il had been badly frightened by the incident? Thats correct. Pak Myong Chol answered promptly. I know the instructions given by Kim Jong Il immediately after the execution of Ceauescu.


What! Kim Jong Ils instructions? What were they? I asked with growing excitement. Kim Jong Il said, Look, even Ceauescu was killed in this way by the paeksong (masses). If the masses rise up in revolt, all of you will also be hanged. He said, bringing his right hand around his throat in a gesture of hanging. When and in what situation were these instructions given? After Ceauescus execution, I think it was in the beginning of 1990, All the cadres from the governmental institutionsthe Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Peoples Armed Forces, and the Ministry of Peoples Security, the Department of State Security, the Central Committeewere assembled together. We were then forced to see a video about Ceauescus arrest and his execution repeatedly for a week. A cadre also read instructions written by Kim Jong Il himself.
Observe carefully. Even Ceauescu came to this end. Even Eastern European socialist governments have crumbled, When our system collapses, it will be you cadres that will be the first to be hanged by the paeksong masses. So you must redouble your efforts. Redouble your efforts in controlling and managing the people right now. If not, the system will collapse - and that will not be the end. You will be the first to be slaughtered by the masses.

Thats incredible! Kim Jong Il used the phrases slaughtered and hanged by the masses several times. You can see how terrified Kim Jong Il was from his use of words. It matched Mr Platkovskiys observations. Kim Jong Il was in a panic after Ceauescus execution. They were united by a fear of the retribution awaiting them when the system collapsed, the Russian journalist had written. Kim Jong Il was fanning the same fear among the party cadres to make sure they were aware that they shared the same fate. Pak Myong Chol gave me another piece of information. I believe there is a speech by King Il Sung reprinted in the front page of the Labor Daily sometime around the execution of Ceauescu. It was published on Kim Jong Ils instructions, If you read it, you can get an idea of what Kim Jong Il was thinking and what he was frightened of. 3 Kim Il Sungs reprinted speech

I returned to my apartment in Washington D.C. in the middle of October 2003 and headed straight to the U.S. Library of Congress, one of the worlds largest libraries with over 20 million books in its collection. The library, facing the chalky-colored U.S. Capitol across 12

Pennsylvania Avenue, was divided into three large buildings: the main Thomas Jefferson building, and the Madison and Adams buildings. The Korean section was housed in the Thomas Jefferson building. Mr Park, a Korean gentleman around forty-five years old, assisted me in procuring documents from the archives. I would ask for a certain document over the phone and he would tell me Ill have it ready for you without demanding any complicated paperwork. By the time I arrived, the material would be on a desk. He was a taciturn and friendly librarian. The microfilm containing copies of the North Korean Workers Party organ, the Labor Daily, for the month of December, 1989, was waiting on the table. I trawled through the dates leading up to Ceauescus execution and eventually found the speech which Pak Myong Chol had mentioned in Seoul. It was dated December 25th with the headline The need to further strengthen class education activities among party members. It was a reprinting of a speech made on April 1st, 1955, by Kim Il Sung to the Plenary Session of Central Committee Members. The Ceauescu couple was executed on the day that this article was published. President Ceauescu and his wife were arrested on December 22nd and were held in a military base. A meeting of Ceauescu supporters in the capital of Bucharest was summoned by the government. The meeting. however, suddenly, transformed into an anti-government rally. The military lent a hand and the people stormed the Communist Party headquarters. Ceauescu and his wife succeeded in fleeing by helicopter from the rooftop, but were arrested at the border. Their lives hung by a thread. Kim Jong Il was probably updated on these developments in detail from the North Korean embassy in Romania. He probably realized that his own fate was hanging by a similar thread. Kim Jong Il had instructed the Labor Daily editors to reprint his fathers old speech. It was a long speech, taking up all of the front page and a third of the second page of the newspaper. When such historical speeches are republished, a simple commentary is usually offered to explain the contemporary significance of the speech. In this issue, however, no such explanatory texts were given, making it impossible to determine why the speech had been republished. Nevertheless, the threatening and fantastically huge headlines of the article clearly contained a message for the people. Kim Il Sungs speech was one in which he essentially proclaimed hatred for the class enemy and a resolute battle against the class enemy. This speech was given in April of 1955, only two years after the end of the three-year long Korean War. North Korea had suffered a gruesome number of casualties, cities had been ruined by American aerial bombing, and farming villages had been ravaged. People were dying from starvation and poverty. The Korean War had been instigated by Kim Il Sung who had attempted to re-unify the divided country. Nothing was achieved, however. The barriers between north and south stood higher and thicker than before the war. Resentment against Kim Il Sung and the party leadership was becoming increasingly widespread. Kim Il Sung deflected this resentment by fabricating 13

false charges of American imperialist spies in the party leadership. He executed over twenty distinguished party cadres who had origins in the south of Korea, accusing them of being spies for American imperialists. Among them were Park Hong-yong who was the Vice Chairman of the Workers Party, Foreign Ministers and the Director of the General Political Bureau for the Peoples Army at the time, as well as Lee Sung Yop and Im Hwa. Many more South Korean revolutionaries who had risked their lives to enter the North to help build the socialist state were interrogated on spy charges. Many were either shipped to concentration camps or driven to kill themselves. The country was plunged into a reign of terror. In this speech, Kim Il Sung sought to deflect the first serious political crisis of his regime by calling for class warfare to ruthlessly persecute his political enemies and critics. We have confronted our enemies for a long period. Not only are there capitalist elements within our ranks, but the enemies have not abandoned their plans of an armed invasion. The enemies are using any number of deceptive and secretive ways to spread their rotten capitalist philosophy and conspire with the hidden counter-revolutionary elements in the North to carry out their destructive schemes. We are constructing socialism under these conditions ... In the past (prior to the liberation of Korea in 1945, authors note), the democratic reforms in the northern republic were undertaken in conditions of class struggle. The liberation of the fatherland from the U.S. imperialists and the Lee Sun Man faction was also part of a fierce class struggle. The establishment of socialism in the Northern part of the republic was also carried out in the environment of class struggle. Every action carried out by the party to accomplish its goals is part of this class struggle. Kim Il Sung had transformed his own political crisis into a class struggle. Even though Kim Il Sung had already purged class enemies once, he insisted that there were still many left in the party ranks. He conjured up these new enemies, demanding steps be taken to defeat them in a ruthless war. Kim Il Sung argued that the peoples hatred and guard against the class enemy was being diluted by party members who did not fully comprehend this situation. The most pressing issue was for party members and the people to be firmly determined to wage class warfare. Kim Il Sung continued,
A number of party members, whose political consciousness is nave and class awareness is uncertain, have mistaken our partys policy of magnanimity. They have shown magnanimity towards the hostile elements with whom we should not compromise. These party members have failed to unveil and crush the destructive plots of the various spies among the hostile elements in a timely manner, but have silently approved their acts, appeased them, or have shared party and national secrets with them. Such party members have been used by the enemies because of their political ignorance and lack of caution. They can not come to realize that they are aiding the enemy and bringing about massive losses for the class profits and revolutionary profits of the workers and farmers ...


The party organization must educate the broader party members to be able to discern a class enemy, combat political ignorance and other indolence, uncover the destructive plots of the enemies, and stand at the head of the national struggle against spies to expose their activities.

National struggle against spies. These are ominous words. Most socialist states, from Stalins Soviet Union, Mao Zedongs China, to Ceauescus Romania have been, more or less, regimes of terror. Even among these countries, however, the reign of terror in North Korea was the harshest. The testimonies of North Korean refugees have made apparent numerous appalling human rights violations by the regime: concentration camps, inhumane treatment of prisoners, public executions, torture, and long-term imprisonment without trials. Struggle against spies is always an indispensable tool of tenor for controlling the public. Since North Korea shares borders with China and South Korea, it has always been relatively easy for secret agents to enter the country. Kim father and son took advantage of this fact and claimed that spies were everywhere, driving people into a state of paranoia. Who is it? Perhaps hes a spy? Hes always complaining about food shortages could he be a spy? A fifth-column saboteur? Soon enough, everybody was reporting on everyone and individuals hoping to be looked upon favorably by authorities were fabricating spy charges about others. North Korea is often said to be an incomprehensible country. One of the reasons for this is the existence of seibun (elements) which is part of a strict political class system, many times more oppressive than any feudal system. The Kim family divided the population into three categories a core class, which consisted of 20 percent of the total North Korean population, a wavering class, 60 percent, and a hostile class 20 percent. Individuals were further classified into 51 smaller subdivisions. Members of the core class were revolutionaries and their relatives who fought against the Japanese and in the Korean War with Kim Il Sung. They have been judged loyal to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. The hostile class was composed of former land owners, capitalists, and their relatives who fought for the South Korean army during the Korean War. The hostile class is literally the enemy. However capable an individual may be, a member of the hostile class is not allowed to enter school, join the elite Korean Workers Party, or enter the Peoples Army. When Kim Il Sung comes to rural areas on inspections, members of the hostile class are not allowed to stand by the street to welcome him. They must remain at home as they are believed to try and harm Kim Il Sung. These individuals tend to work in mines or perform the hardest manual labor in agricultural communities. Throughout their lives, the hostile class must bear a tremendous burden. Kim Il Sung has described them in this way, No compromises can be made with the members of the hostile class who opposes socialism. It is therefore necessary to clearly determine if an individual is an enemy element or a member of our class.


We must wage an unrelenting war against the hostile class and other incorrect individuals. (The Collected Works of Kim Il Sung1) These words come from a notorious speech by Kim Il Sung on April 29, 1958, entitled, What is required to complete the legal policy of our party. The North Korean people were divided into core, wavering, and hostile classes as a result of this speech. Kim Jong Il reprinted his fathers speech calling for a resolute fight against the enemy classes. The speech sought to strike fear in the hostile class by emphasizing that the class struggle is not over, spies are everywhere, and the enemies are preparing sabotage and subversion. Eerily, a month after the reprinting of this article, on January 25th, 1990, the Korean Workers Party organ, the Labor Daily reprinted another speech by Kim Il Sung. This speech, which used the whole of the first page and three-quarters of the second page, was one from March 23, 1955. It was entitled, The problem of North Hamgyong party organization. In the speech, Kim criticized the North Hamgyong party organization for its obstinate regionalism (neglecting the Central Committee for ones region and taking a rebellious stance - authors note) and for acting against Central Committee directions. He had criticized this tendency of regionalism over ten years ago, but the attitude had not improved. Kim Il Sung claimed that the peoples livelihoods were not improving and agricultural development was falling behind because the province did not obey the centers instructions. It is not clear why Kim Jong Il reprinted this old speech. But in retrospect, it served as warning shots for a full-scale attack against North Hamgyong, the province with largest number of hostile class members. (I will explain this in more detail later.) Kim Jong Il, haunted by fears of a popular uprising, instructed the Labor Daily to reprint two of his fathers speeches which were both over thirty years old. Kim Jong Il must have decided to follow his fathers footsteps and wage a life-and-death war against the enemy class. This was the beginning of Kim Jong Ils new class struggle. 4 The Soviet Union abandons North Korea

It was not only Kim Jong Il who was frightened. Kim Il Sung also felt threatened by the impending crisis. Kim Il Sung had slowly transferred all authority to Kim Jong Il after announcing him as successor in the Sixth Congress of the Korean Workers Party in 1980. In the latter half of the 1980s, almost all decisions, apart from those relating to diplomacy, had been handled by Kim Jong Il. Kim Il Sung was a lord who had handed over his patrimony to his son, but suddenly realized that his son was unlikely to be able to handle a severe crisis in the inherited lands alone.

1 Kin Nissei chosaku senshu 2, Chosen Rodoto, 1975, Korean


Kim Il Sung was ready to come out of retirement in the face of the gravest crisis for the regime since the establishment of the DPRK in September 1948; the Soviet Union, Pyongyangs greatest patron and virtual suzerain, had decided to abandon North Korea. Mikhail Gorbachev, since taking power in 1985, had sought fundamental reforms in a wide range of areas under the slogan of perestroika. The costs of financially supporting and also dealing with the various troubles caused by North Korea became a serious burden for the Soviet Union. Moscow notified Pyongyang of its intentions to terminate weapons aid to North Korea in 1988. Moscow also demanded all foreign trade settlements to be made in hard currency (international currencies such as U.S. dollars or German marks) in 1990. These demands went into effect the following year. In 1989, for example, North Korea imported 1.64 billion U.S. dollars worth of goods from the Soviet Union, while exporting 810 million U.S. dollars worth of goods. In other words, North Korea had a trade deficit of 800 million U.S. dollars with the Soviet Union. The North Korean national budget for that year was 34 billion won, roughly 170 million dollars2. In other words, Pyongyang had been receiving aid from Moscow worth nearly five times its national budget. This arrangement had existed unchanged since the establishment of North Korea. Though declaring itself an independent and self-reliant country, North Korea was little more than a dependency of the Soviet Union. The patrons in Moscow decided to establish ties with Pyongyangs greatest rivals, South Korea, in September 1990. However much Pyongyang criticized Moscow, saying the Soviets were betraying socialism for the dollar and abandoning its long-suffering wife for a richer and younger mistress, it did little to change grim international realities. China followed the Soviet Union and established ties with South Korea in 1992. Having been given the cold shoulder by their two main sponsors, North Korea became increasingly isolated and lacked necessary economic aid. These circumstances pushed the country towards nuclear weapons. North Korea suddenly had to buy Soviet petroleum and grains, which until recently had been virtually free. It was becoming impossible for Pyongyang, strapped of foreign currency, to purchase these things. Soon enough, food and energy shortages were occurring in the country. Lacking oil, North Korean power plants fueled by heavy oil churned to a halt. Though North Korea possessed a number of coal-powered thermal plants, there was no electricity needed to operate the mine equipment to produce coal. Factories stopped production. Food rations became smaller. The sight of weakened workers lying down or collapsed at work places became common. When I was in Pyongyang between 1972 and 1973 as a correspondent, the North Korean economy was still functioning and people had confidence in the system. Nevertheless, the foreign compound where I was staying would have blackouts lasting one hour or so in the evenings at least once or twice a week. Unable to work, I would take walks during the
2 The official fixed exchange rate between the North Korean won and U.S. dollar differ from unofficial market rates, but in this calculation, I used a fixed rate of 200 won per dollar.


blackout, which was probably one of the reasons why I was eventually charged for spying. At that time, street lamps worked, a handful of neon signs in the city center shone, and the interior of workshop were brightly lit by electric lamps. But from the 1990s, the country had become a nation of darkness, according to descriptions by Song Hae Rang, the sister-in-law of Kim Jong Il who had fled North Korea, in her book Distant North Korea3. From the 1990s, the food shortage deteriorated along with the energy shortage. North Koreas food shortages and famines are often said to have started with the great floods of 1995. In fact, the famines commenced with the autumn harvest of 1990. (This will be explained in more detail in Chapter Three.) The regime began promoting a campaign to eat only two meals a day in what it called a tightening of belts policy from 1991. Stealing and pilfering food became frequent from around this time as well, while disturbances increased during the bimonthly food allocations at the food distribution centers. There were no guarantees of receiving food even at the ration distribution centers. People were unable to do anything when told by the ration centers Were finished. We have nothing else to hand out ... while waiting in the middle of the line for distributions. People therefore fought to get to the front of the line, while others sought to cut into lines mid-way, resulting in scuffles. Since those waiting in the line were hungry and under pressure, such fights would break out quickly. People were complaining. The least they could do is distribute food. What are the leaders doing? Anti-government sentiment was rising. Graffiti complaining about the lack of food was scribbled onto public bathroom walls. People were sarcastically calling Kim Jong Il the gruel lord. A cynical new phrase the march of ants was used to describe the lines of hungry people who headed for the mountains in spring and autumn to gather wild grasses and acorns for food. People began pilfering from communal farms or stealing directly from the ration centers. Fake ration identity cards were everywhere, and bandits attacked people for food across the country. Japans Sankei newspaper reported that on August 27th, 1991, nearly 4,000 people in the area of Sinuiju, bordering China, went to the regional capital to demonstrate their dissatisfaction over food distribution. The Kim familys fears and uncertainty escalated as they realized the gravity of the situation. The problem could no longer be kept under check by the Ministry of Public Security (the police, which was renamed the Ministry of Peoples Security in April, 2000) It was necessary to tighten control over the military. The Kim familys nightmare scenario was for the military to join forces with the people. It was necessary to prevent the military and people from uniting in a common cause at all costs. Let us look at the desperate measures Kim Il Sung carried out for his survival.

3 (Kitachosen haruka nari), Bunshun Bunko (pg 504)


Kim Il Sung rapidly strengthens the military

Kim Il Sungs reacted rapidly after realizing the gravity of the crisis. In order to replace aid terminated by the Soviet Union, he directed his diplomatic efforts towards Japan. He invited the Liberal Democratic Partys vice-president Kanemaru Shin and the Socialist Partys vice-chairman Tanabe Makoto to Pyongyang on September 28th, 1990. Kim Il Sung succeeded in cobbling together a Three-party Joint Statement between Japans Liberal Democratic Party and Socialist Party and the North Korean Workers Party. The statement called for early normalization of ties between the two countries as well as Japans promise to pay reparations for its colonial occupation of North Korea. In September 1991, Pyongyang responded to calls to join the UN for the first time after years of adamantly refusing. In December of the same year, North Korea invited their long-time enemy, Mun Son Myong, leader of the Unification Church and the International Federation for the Victory over Communism, to Pyongyang, treated him as a state guest, and wheedled massive amounts of financial aid from him. Above all, Kim Il Sung acted vigorously to fortify the military. After seeing what happened in Eastern Europe, the Kim family considered strengthening the military as its most urgent priority. An obedient military was crucial in defending socialism. Ceauescu was executed because he was not in control of his military. The military should never be allowed to join forces with the people in an uprising. Kim Il Sung believed that he would not be able to retire in peace and hand over the reins of power to his son Kim Jong Il unless he had created strong bulwarks against such threats. Kim Il Sung took rapid steps to ensure that his son was in firm control of the military from the beginning of 1990. First, he instructed representative elections for the Supreme Peoples Assembly (which is held once in four years), to be moved forward by six-months. The election was held on April 22nd, 1990. The first representative conference, attended by 687 new representatives, was held in the Mansude Diet Building in Pyongyang between May 24th and 26th. In this conference, Kim Il Sung made the significant proposal of creating the DPRK National Defense Commission. The diet, which always unanimously rubber stamped policy, passed the proposal. Until this point, the National Defense Commission had been under the control of the government. Along with the Ministry of Peoples Armed Forces, the Committee became responsible for national defense and was detached from government control. Hence, the National Defense Commission was established as an independent arm. Such a radical measure should have required changes to be made in the constitution, but this measure was enacted with little explanation. The official announcement simply stated that the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea National Defense Commission has been established. The members of this committee consisted of Kim Il Sung, who was chairman, Kim Jong Il, who was first vice-chairman, and other vice-chairmen O Jin woo, Choe Guang, and members Kim Byong-Hong, Kim Chol Man, and Lee Ha Il. This was the first time that Kim Jong Il, who until then had only a post in the party, assumed an important role in a national arm. There were 19

not many at the time who realized how significant these changes would be for the political structure of North Korea in the coming years. Popular rebellions could only be countered by military force; Kim Il Sung had learnt this lesson in his youth fighting guerrilla wars in former Manchuria, when he controlled others with the intimidation of the gun. He firmly believed in the creed that governments are created and protected by the gun. Strengthening the military was the key to survival. Even if rebellions or challenges to the political system arose, as occurred in Eastern Europe, a strong military could mercilessly crush opposition and keep the country in line. Kim Il Sungs faith in military strength increased after the Tiananmen Incident in June 1989. Timing their demonstrations with President Gorbachevs visit to Beijing, Chinese students had set up tents and occupied Tiananmen square, demanding democracy. Deng Xiaoping eventually mobilized tanks against the demonstrators, crushing and killing the students effortlessly. Over 2,000 demonstrators are believed to have died and 30,000 wounded in the incident. Kim Il Sung, observing events in Beijing, re-confirmed his belief that a communist partys military should act as the Chinese military had, wiping out anti-revolutionary elements in the blink of an eye. In October of that year, Kim Il Sung sent a congratulatory telegram to China on its founding day, expressing happiness that anti-revolutionary violence had been quickly suppressed. Kim Il Sungs next step was to hand over his long-held title of the Supreme Commander of the Korean Peoples Army to Kim Jong Il on December 24th, 1991. The Supreme Commander made his debut during the military parade on April 25th, 1992, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Peoples Army. Kim Jong Il made his first public statement on this occasion, when he proclaimed: Glory to the heroic Korean Peoples Army soldiers! Paranoid and timid, Jong Il always disliked to make speeches in front of others. But he was not going to be able to shirk from his public duties forever. He mounted the stage to the center podium and stood in front of a thicket of microphones. Visiting King Sihanouk of Cambodia stood nearby while Kim Il Sung nervously watched Jong Il from the side. The cameras captured the fathers expression will he be alright? Kim Il Sung resembled a nervous father following the performance of his son at a school play. Kim Il Sung must have felt greatly relieved after Jong Il had successfully finished his short speech. Kim Il Sungs main concern was that Jong Il had no military experience. Even though he had assigned him the post of supreme commander, Jong Il still had virtually no experience with the military. He could hear complaints about this from everywhere. Why should a man with no military training become the supreme commander? The lack of respect for Kim Jong Il as a military leader paved the way for a failed coup dtat attempt in 1992 by young cadres of the Korean Peoples Army, studying at Frunje, an officers


school in the Soviet Union. The cadres had planned to assassinate the Kim family and top officials on the viewing dais by shooting them from a tank during the 60th anniversary parade of the Korean Peoples Army. Their plot was leaked from the Soviet Union, however, and the conspirators were all executed. Perhaps Kim Jong Il had some talent at filming movies and directing stage performances, but that was not going to be enough to lead a country. He was particularly unfit to rule at a time when anti-revolutionary winds were blowing through the world and advancing onto North Korea. He needed to have at least the backing of the military. Kim Il Sung worried about his son and finally decided to make wide-spread changes to the constitution. In the Third Session of the Ninth Peoples Supreme Assembly, held from April 8th to the 10th in 1992, Kim Il Sung revised the constitution for the first time in 20 years. The main changes were to reduce the authority of the President and elevate the role of the National Defense Commission. Until these changes were made, the constitution stipulated that the President held both the positions of Supreme Commander and head of National Defense. Kim Il Sung took away these powers from the President in the revisions made in 1992. Supreme command of the military in a socialist state signified complete power. Without this power, the role of the President was rendered symbolic. The supreme command of the military was transferred to the National Defense Commission. It became apparent that the reason why Kim Il Sung had detached the National Defense Commission from government control and made it an independent organ in May of 1990 was to make the National Defense Commission a more powerful organ than the President. According to the articles in the revised constitution, the National Defense Commission was to be the Supreme Military Command of National Authority (article 111) and the National Defense Commission Chairman commanded all military power (article 113). The activity of the National Defense Commission was to be held above the Supreme Peoples Association (article 116), and thereby beyond the control of the government. Kim Il Sung sought to transfer all executive powers he held in the military to his son. After these dramatic changes, Kim Jong Il was elected chairman of the National Defense Commission, replacing Kim Il Sung, during the Supreme Peoples Assembly held between the 8th and 10th of April 1993. Kim Jong Il was now not only head of the military, but had virtual control over the government itself. These steps were carried out under Kim Il Sungs instructions. These steps, which began with the elections in April 1990 for the Supreme Peoples Assembly and led to the detaching of the National Defense Commission from the government in May, had a clear political end. Kim Il Sungs aim was to transform the North Korean political system into a military dictatorship and ensure his son was the supreme commander of this system. At this point, the transfer of power from Kim Il Sung to Kim Jong Il had been essentially completed.


There is room to debate whether Kim Il Sung was acting alone on these changes. Until December 24th, 1991, when Kim Il Sung was appointed the Supreme Commander of the Peoples Army, it is clear that Kim Jong Il was not aware of his fathers intentions. Kim Jong Ils comments were later published in the Labor Daily.
One day, late in the year full of trials, our most beloved shogun (Kim Jong Il) spoke to comrades somewhat heatedly. Thinking back now, the Great Leaders decision to call a Plenary Session of Central Committee Members on the 24th of December (1991) was made with great consideration. I could hardly have dreamt that the Great Leader would hold the conference and nominate me as the Supreme Commander of the North Korean Peoples Army. (Seiron Hakto no jyu no ketto Political discourse the pedigree of the gun of Mt Paektu December 22, 2000)

It could be said that from this point, Kim Jong Il fully empathized with his fathers emphasis on the military and sought to assist his father in bringing the military further into the center of the North Korean political system.


Chapter Two
Staging a nuclear crisis 1 A meticulously calculated game of risk

A political system was created in which power was firmly held by Kim Jong Il at the apex of the military. The ongoing energy and food shortages continued to fuel popular dissatisfaction, however. Though freedom of expression was strictly restricted in North Korea, rumors of the collapsing Eastern European regimes seeped into the country. Kim Il Sung considered various strategies for his regimes survival. A thought crossed his mind - an exquisite and disingenuous technique by which the people and the army could be kept divided without relying on martial law - intentionally leak information about North Koreas nuclear weapons program to the West and stage a nuclear crisis in the Korean peninsula. Kim Il Sung hoped to provoke the U.S. by breaching the NPT (Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons), force Washington to intervene, and threaten a second Korean War. This was a sly ploy of brinkmanship diplomacy in which the peoples growing frustrations against the government would be turned towards the U.S. Given the cold shoulder by the Soviet Union and China, the Kim family decided that this unprecedented crisis could only be overcome by bringing in the U.S. and staging a nuclear show-down. When the U.S. eventually fell squarely into this trap, the Kim family was able to save itself and suppress domestic complaints about food shortages. America is about to invade us any moment now. How can you be complaining about an empty stomach, when the Americans are about to murder us! The Kim family succeeded in deflecting popular frustration into hatred for American imperialism and brought the country under military control without announcing martial law, As soldiers vacations were canceled and soldiers were kept in the barracks) the Kim family averted a Romanian situation in which the military joined forces with a popular uprising. Military conscription in the Korean Peoples Army was lengthened from ten to thirteen years, Unable to see that their relatives back home were starving, the soldiers were forced to accept the propaganda that the people were all living bountifully. In the meantime, Kim Jong Il could threaten farmers and take away what food they may have hidden. Kim Jong Il stated in a speech, If you can not supply rice for our soldiers who are fighting in the front lines and complain about your empty stomachs, you will all become slaves again, (, Shukan Bunshun, April 3, 1997. Kitachosen no sanjo wo mitometa Kin Shonichi shoki himitsu enzetsu no zenbo) Due to memories of the tragedies of the Korean War, he knew that the North Koreans would unite unquestioningly if they were told that Americans were about to attack. His plan was truly disingenuous.


I had proposed this as a hypothesis in my book The Country of Kidnappings, Nuclear Weapons, and Famines North Korea4. This theory has been received positively by numerous researchers. As it is an ongoing problem in dealing with North Korea, I would like to trace how I had come to this hypothesis. I came to believe that the Kim family was intentionally staging a nuclear crisis after reading comments written by Yoshida Yasuhiko, the former press manager of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He has written the following in North Koreas Nuclear Threat and Strategy for Survival in the post-Cold war Era5:
After North Koreas nuclear program became evident with photographs of the Yongbyon area taken by U.S. and French spy satellites, I was convinced. North Korea had been desperately trying to bring the U.S. to the negotiating table to survive in the post-Cold War era, but the Americans took no heed. And so they had resulted to a use of force by flaunting proof of their nuclear weapons programs at spy satellites flying directly overhead. This North Korean strategy has been consistent and remains unchanged for the last ten years. It is commonly accepted now that North Koreas proof of its nuclear weapons program was a diplomatic card. The Northern Korean leadership was well acquainted with the strength of the U.S. nuclear force. Moreover, they were aware of the massive time and funding required in developing nuclear arms. It can be assumed that the North Korean regime was aiming to bring the U.S. to the negotiating table and overcome its increasing isolation and crisis of existence through U.S.-North Korean negotiations. (pg 30-31)

I came across the following analysis in North Koreas Negotiation Strategy by Chuck Downs.
The North Korean nuclear crisis was cleverly devised and also effectively used. (pg 415)

Chuck Downs was a staff member of the U.S. Department of Defense for four years from 1993 during the North Korean nuclear crisis. He is currently an influential adviser and researcher on North Korean issues for the Department of Defense and State Department. I asked him via email whether his statement that the North Korean crisis was cleverly devised meant that the so-called nuclear weapons program suspicions were intentionally fabricated by North Korea. He replied via email immediately. Yes - the nuclear crisis of 1994 did not occur as a natural result of historical forces. Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il devised, created, thought up and implemented it so that they could extort money and benefits from the U.S. in exchange for appearing to close down their nuclear program ...
4 (Rachi to kaku to gashi no kuni Kitachosen), Bunshun Shinsho, March 2003. 5 (Kitachosen no Kakugiwaku to Post Reisenki no Ikinokori Senryaku) contained in (Ugokidashita Chosen Hanto), Nihon Hyoronsha, 2000.


I later came across other theories which further substantiated my theory in my book, The Country of Kidnappings, Nuclear Weapons, and Famines North Korea. One of these was a report by a North Korean refugee named Pak Ii now living in Seoul. The article, Kim Jong Ils lessons from the last days of Ceauescu was published in the September 1999 edition of the North Korean refugee societys bulletin Bokyo (currently entitled the Dappokusha taehi North Korean Refugees) Mr Paks report categorically states that the nuclear crisis was staged for the sake of the regimes survival. In general, a dictatorial regime considers the control of political thought and daily life of its citizens necessary for strengthening social unity and solidarity while ensuring its continued existence. But when this unity and solidarity is no longer possible merely by internal control and indoctrination, dictators cling to another method - that of provoking pressure and danger from outside the country. By intentionally provoking external pressure and creating a crisis, dictatorial regimes succeed in controlling its citizens. The staging of the nuclear crisis was a life-or-death strategy for North Korea. Park also analyzes why Romania disintegrated while North Korea survived. Romania did not survive as it did not have the necessary evil of a foreign threat. In other words, the Romanian people lived in an environment of peace, with little threat or tension from its neighboring countries and the Western powers. There was no threat that could ideologically and psychologically unite the Romanian people against a foreign enemy. Furthermore, the Romanians were emboldened by the fact that they could change their regime without risking the dangers of a collapsing system. In contrast, North Korea has been 'blessed with foreign enemies - the U.S. and South Korea - which create a hostile foreign environment and help to prop up the internal system. Compared to the unfortunate Ceauescu, Kim Jong Il was 'fortunate for not only having the pretext of foreign threats and sanctions, but also having actual floods and droughts to deflect his own responsibility. Coming from a well-informed North Korean refugee, the analysis is insightful. I digress, but as a correspondent in North Korea, one of the first deceptions of this country which I realized was that Kim Il Sungs regime actually benefited the most from the division of the peninsula. Although the Kim family often claimed how strongly they desired reunification, I soon realized that they were the ones who most feared re-unification. The Kim family would be the first to be massacred following the collapse of the regime after reunification. Another theory, similar to my hypothesis, was an argument made by Kim Gyong Jun, a former South Korean diplomat who had once been a minister for the South Korean Embassy in Malaysia. His article was published in the September 1994 issue of the Korean magazine Hokkan


Kim Il Sungs North Koreas nuclear problem was a game of risk, undertaken with high-level political considerations and meticulous calculation, for the regimes survival. Kim Il Sungs regime, completely isolated from international society, faced an impending crisis as a result of sudden and dramatic changes abroad. Economic bankruptcy, successorship problems, and the serious crisis of domestic politics forced the regime to commence a nuclear program for the sake of maintaining the regime. The phrase, a meticulously calculated game of risk, corroborated my hypothesis. I looked for Kim Gyong Jun during my visit to Seoul in September of 2003. Ms Kim Suni, a highly capable woman in her thirties, who worked for the Seoul bureau of the Mainichi Newspaper quickly tracked him down for me. Please speak to him Mr Hagiwara, Kim Gyong Jun was already on the other end of the line. I met Kim Gyong Jun at a coffee shop in the Hotel Koreana. He had retired from the foreign office and now spent his days researching American foreign policy from home. He said he was looking through over 400 reports written by U.S. analysts he had extracted from the web. I thanked him for his analysis of the meticulously planned game of risk It and told him I was writing a new book from this perspective. I gave him a copy of my book with my signature by way of introduction. Im honored, he said, accepting the book. North Korea is already crumbling apart. It will only collapse if left alone. But the Americans were taken in by North Korean strategy. Negotiating is not the only diplomacy, ignoring is also a form of diplomacy, Kim Gyong Jun said. The Clinton administration could have ignored the Kim family, but fell for the North Korean ploy. The North had no bargaining chips - without any bargaining chips, there can be no negotiation. You can only have a deal if you have kondukchi, he said. I did not know the meaning of this word - kondukchi. But I didnt want to interrupt him, as he may have been leading up to something important. The iron rule in any interview is not to interrupt. I pretended that I had comprehended his phrase during the interview, but later learned that he was speaking of the ingredients used in soup. If you only have boiling water in your pot and no fish or meat or vegetables, nobody would come and dine at your table. Mr Kim had given me a particularly Korean analogy, comparing the nuclear weapons as the ingredients for a soup that would lure Americans to the table. The Americans had indeed foolishly been tricked into sitting at this meticulously set table.


The historian Natalya Bazhanova who had been researching the North Korean economy since the former Soviet Union era wrote:
A nuclear weapon might help the entire ruling class in the North by increasing tensions in the Far East and by distracting the populations attention from daily grievances. A bomb promised to make people even more scared of the North Korean authorities and consequently to make them more submissive. (The North Korean Nuclear Program, pg 136)

Ms Bazhanova was arguing that the Kim family had not only been able to divert popular frustrations using the nuclear weapons threat, but had further tamed the public into fearing the Kim regime. The North Korean people were once notorious for being a strong-minded people. At other times in history, the North Koreans had been compared to wild tigers. A halfcentury of Kim Il Sungs regime, indoctrination and control had turned these tigers into cats. These people would be made even more timid by the threat of nuclear arms. Ms Bazhanova further argued that Kim Jong Il allegedly took charge of the nuclear weapons programs as a way of increasing his personal prestige in the armed forces and within the North Korean leadership as a whole. (The North Korean Nuclear Program, pg 136) by acquiring nuclear weapons. I felt the mist in front of my eyes lifting as I read her essay. The nuclear crisis was not only a ploy to transform food riots into an anti-U.S. movement, it was also an attempt to raise Kim Jong Ils standing in the military. 2 The history of North Koreas nuclear program

How can an impoverished, tiny country in the Far East which can not even feed its own people be able to intimidate the U.S., the only super-power in the world after the collapse of the Soviet Union? The fact that that this country can do this is what makes the Korean Peninsula so unique. North Koreas strength stems from the Kim familys hostage strategy. The primary hostages are the 37,000 U.S. military personnel in South Korea and their 80,000 family members. Over 13,000 mid- to long-range guns near the military border of the peninsula are aimed at South Korea. If Kim Jong Il commands these guns to be fired, terrible and instantaneous destruction will ensue. A preemptive attack will inevitably lead to a North Korean counter-attack, ending in a chain of reprisals. The narrow Korean Peninsula will inevitably turn into a sea of fire. In addition, over 10 million people live in an area of 605 square kilometers in the South Korean capital of Seoul. This makes Seoul, with 17,000 people per square kilometer live, one of the worlds most densely populated cities. Even Tokyo has only a population density of 5,300 people per square kilometer. The South Korean population is therefore the other primary hostage. Besides this threat, North Korea has been developing missiles since the 1990s and has succeeded in the launch of the Taepodong missile with a range of 1,300 kilometers. Japan is neatly in range. Although the Japanese people are not complete hostages, they are a suitable targets to threaten. Some U.S. military specialists believe that at this rate of development, North Koreas missiles will be able to reach Alaska soon. North Korea has boasted that our offensive power has no limit. A North Korean attack 27

with regular weapons would leave over a million deaths and ten times as many wounded in the Korean Peninsula. A nuclear attack would result in unimaginable destruction. Until the mid-1980s, when North Korea was believed not to possess nuclear arms, U.S. servicemen and South Korean citizens were able to sleep soundly under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. This situation changed dramatically when the Soviet Union started to crumble in the mid-1980s and Kim Il Sung realized he could no longer depend on Moscow for protection. The devil whispered into his ear to possess nuclear arms. Before discussing this development, let us briefly review the history of North Koreas nuclear program. In The North Korean Nuclear Program, former Soviet Union nuclear specialist Georgiy Kaurov gives a summary of the history of the North Korean nuclear program under Soviet guidance. Mr Kaurov had once worked as the press manager for the department of nuclear energy in Russia.
The former Soviet Unions nuclear assistance to North Korea began in 1959. After a series of agreements were signed, the Soviet Union agreed to cooperate in the construction of a nuclear research center and the training of Korean specialists. The formal name of the research center was the Yongbyon Scientific-Research Center, 92 kilometers from Pyongyang on the right bank of the Kutyong River. The center consisted of a radio-chemical laboratory, a waste storage site, and a special laundry facility for decontaminating protective clothing and undergarments of site personnel. Thirty Soviet specialists participated in the construction of these installations and in the preparations to put them into operation. The IRT-2000 nuclear research reactor6, which is the main facility at the Yongbyon Scientific-Research Center, was put into operation from 1965 . The power of the original Soviet-supplied reactor was 2 megawatts. The start-up of the IRT-2000 allowed North Korean specialists to study physical and chemical processes of radiation. The North Korean specialists managed to increase the capacity of the reactor first to 5 MW and then to 7 MW. During the whole period of cooperation, more than 300 North Korean nuclear specialists of various qualifications were trained at various Soviet institutes of higher education - including the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI), the Bauman Hieger Technical School (VTU imeni Baumana), the Moscow Energy Institute (Mel), and the nuclear scientific research complexes in the cities of Dubna and Obninsk. In 1965, after having completed most of the construction work at the Yongbyon Scientific-Research Center, Soviet specialists departed from the DPRK. But the cooperation continued in the form of authoritative supervision of installations as well as in the form of Soviet provision of nuclear fuel supplies for the reactor. (The North Korean Nuclear Program, pg 16-17)

6 Soviet-made reactor which uses enriched uranium as fuel.


The year 1965 was a dramatic one for North Korea as its first atomic plant was put into operation. Kim Il Sung at the time was interested in harnessing nuclear energy for peaceful uses. It appears Kim Il Sung was drawn by the temptation of military ends for his nuclear program only after the advent of Gorbachev in 1985 in the Soviet Union. At that time, North Korea was trailing South Korea economically and militarily. Kim Il Sung was probably attracted to the highly effective and relatively low-cost threat of nuclear weapons from around this time. As his intentions begin to surface, friction with the international community increases. Mr Kaurov writes,
Soviet-North Korean cooperation expanded on December 26, 1985, at the initiative of Pyongyang, when the government of the Soviet Union and the DPRK signed an Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation in the Construction of a Nuclear Power Plant in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. The agreement provided for cooperation on the design, construction, commissioning, and use of a nuclear power plant in the DPRK consisting of four energy blocks with surface reactor installations of the VVER-440 type. The condition of this agreement was that the DPRK not divert the equipment for military use, such as the production of nuclear armaments. (The North Korean Nuclear Program, pg 18)

The Soviet Union sought to check North Koreas growing interest in the military use of nuclear power. Strongly urged by the Soviet Union, North Korea grudgingly joined the NPT in December 1985. Pyongyang could not refuse to join the NPT as Moscow had made it a condition for receiving nuclear reactors. By joining, North Korea was also obliged to sign the safeguard agreements within a year which forced Pyongyang to accept IAEA inspectors. A year and a half passed, but North Korea still refused to sign the agreements, complaining about the wording of the NPT text. Another year and a half and another deadline passed. North Korea continued to refuse IAEA inspectors in December of 1988. North Korea demanded that it would not accept investigations unless inspections were also conducted into U.S. nuclear arms held in South Korea. It was clearly a play for more time. Why did they need this time? It later became evident that North Korea had been scrambling to develop nuclear weapons during those years. Aside from the desire to possess nuclear weapons to confront South Korea, changes in the Soviet Union accelerated North Koreas nuclear program. Kim Il Sung had visited Gorbachev in 1985 immediately after he had been sworn in as General Secretary. Kim Il Sung intuited that this man who was pressing for dramatic reforms under the slogan of Perestroika was likely to abandon North Korea eventually, according to Mr Platkovskiys analysis. Unfortunately for him, Kim Il Sungs intuition was correct. On November 10, 19887, the Soviet Union Communist Party decided to terminate all military aid to North Korea. The rationale was that,
The new Soviet arms supplies to the DPRK are likely to provoke the United States to extend similar assistance to South Korea. As a result, tensions on the Korean Peninsula are likely to worsen, thereby
7 According to Don Oberdorfer, The Two Koreas, pg 236.


threatening the DPRKs security and doing harm to the DPRKs national interests. (The North Korean Nuclear Program, pg 130)

In December 1988, Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze visited Pyongyang and met with Kim Yong Nam to announce this decision. Shevardnadze came to Pyongyang again in September 1990 to make an ultimatum that it was about to establish ties with South Korea. If that happened, Foreign Minister Kim Yong Nam said, We will be forced to develop on our own certain weapons with which we have been asking our allies for assistance until now. Although he did not explicitly state nuclear weapons, he was clearly referring to them. Various witnesses and documents reveal that North Koreas nuclear weapons program had progressed between 1985 and 1990. Hwang Jang Yop, a former high-ranking cadre of the North Korean Workers Party who had defected from the North, had told me that The North has already completed its nuclear program by 1986. Kim Dae Ho, another refugee from North Korea, who had worked in North Korean facilities connected to its nuclear program, was told by his superiors that tithe production of new nuclear material had been successful at the Yongbyon nuclear area from 1989. As a result, the country can now proudly exercise military self-defense. They were talking about succeeding in the production of plutonium. He also heard that scientists and technicians involved in its production were presented with Japanese color television sets extremely rare and valuable in North Korea - from the Kim family. (The Truth of the North Korean Nuclear Facilities Which I Witnessed8) There is another study which looks at the mystery of the North Korean nuclear program from another angle. This is the Tamaki Report published in December 1992 by Motoi Tamaki, a renowned, long-time North Korea watcher. The following is the summary of his report, entitled North Koreas Nuclear Program and Procurement of Strategic Supplies from Japan Mid-term Report9: 1) Large quantities of chemicals used to reprocess nuclear fuel, including tributyl phosphate (TBP) and dodecane, were suddenly being imported from Japan to North Korea from 1989. It was likely used to extract plutonium out of spent nuclear rods. 2) Large quantities of chemicals used as detonators necessary to transform extracted plutonium into weapon-grade plutonium were suddenly being imported from Japan between 1988 and 1991. Mr Tamaki also listed in detail the names, number, and dates of a variety of materials (including stainless steel equipment used in containers for the reprocessing of spent nuclear
8 , Watashi ga Mita Kitachosen Kaku Kojo no Jijitsu, Tokuma Shoten, 2003, pg 143. 9 , Kitachosen Kaku Kaihatsu to Nihon kara no Senryaku Busshi Choutatsu Chuukan Houkoku, from , Kitachosen Hakyoku he no Michi (North Koreas Path to Self-destruction) from Yomiuri Shimbunsha, 1996.


fuel and remote-control leaded glass materials necessary in nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities) which North Korea imported from Japan. If so many related materials had been imported together at once, one is forced to confirm ones worst suspicions. American spy satellites uncovered suspicious activity in North Koreas Yongbyon around October of 1989. In the same year, the CIA announced that North Korea already possessed one nuclear warhead. This warning was ignored by then-President George H. W. Bush. I had already mentioned how Kim Il Sung had decided to stage a nuclear conflict with the U.S. as a measure of last resort in the face of collapsing Eastern European socialist countries and the execution of Ceauescu. At first, Kim Il Sung avoided inspections with various excuses. But as the food shortages deteriorated, the agitations of the North Korean citizens became increasingly worrisome. Placed in a corner, Kim Il Sung finally decided to accept IAEA inspections. Pyongyang signed the IAEA safeguard agreements on January 30, 1992, paving the way for nuclear inspections. The nuclear card to lure the U.S. was now in play. In August of 1992, spy satellites captured suspicious activity around the nuclear reprocessing plant in Yongbyon, called the Radio-chemistry Laboratory. Numerous workers were rapidly constructing buildings, leveling the ground, and planting trees. It was plain as day that they were trying to hide something. 3 Clinton debates war or appeasement

The workers in Yongbyon were camouflaging the nuclear waste storage site next to the Radiochemistry Laboratory (also known as the December Enterprise Building). The North Koreans were extracting plutonium which could be used for nuclear warheads from spent nuclear fuel in this building. A container tank had been built next to the lab for the high levels of waste fluids generated in this reprocessing work. Both buildings were connected by steel pipes. The Americans had given the codename Building 500 to this waste storage site and had long been monitoring the site through its spy satellites. The workers were trying to camouflage this container tank by burying it. They covered it up with one-meter thick concrete slabs and had later constructed a storage house and planted trees over it. The above details were taken from a report by Osamu Eya, a journalist specializing in the North Korean nuclear problem, in Kitachosen no kaku - misairu kaihatsu no genjo (North Koreas nuclear and missile production today) contained in Iraku go no chosen hanto (The Korean Peninsula after Iraq) published by Asia Daigaku Asia Kenkyujo 2004. These were developments which occurred from January of 1992 to the summer of the same year. In November, George Bush was defeated by Democrat Bill Clinton in the U.S. presidential elections.


Until this point, North Korea had desperately hidden its nuclear weapons program. It appeared now as if Pyongyang wanted to parade its nuclear program to the world. Even nuclear specialists in the U.S. Department of Energy were puzzled by the North Korean movements at first: Why dont they cover up Yongbyon better? Its incomprehensible. Yongbyon lies 92 kilometers north of Pyongyang. On clear days, passengers on planes landing at Pyongyang airport could see these nuclear facilities with the naked eye. (Don Oberdorfer, The Two Koreas, pg 60) North Korea finally signed the nuclear inspection agreements on January 30, 1992 after months and months of postponement. They then submitted a list of fourteen sites for inspection. IAEAs inspections were held six times between May 1992 and February 1993. North Korea was extremely welcoming at first, offering to show anything which they demanded to see, according to IAEA officials who participated in the investigations. But the good-will was not without reason; North Korea had not declared two facilities which were most suspect. The first was the nuclear waste storage site (building 500) which had been hidden under trees. The other was an underground nuclear waste burial site. The IAEA was adamant about inspecting these two undeclared sites and demanded special inspections. North Korea refused, saying that these were not nuclear facilities, but normal military facilities and that an inspections of its military facilities would be internationally humiliating. The arguments went back and forth as tensions rose. The IAEA finally passed a resolution to conduct special inspections. At the time, lack of knowledge and experience and an apparent opportunity to show off his statesmanship drove 46-years old President Clinton to an error of judgment. Clinton had gained popularity by chiding the Bush administration, at the time busy commanding the Gulf War, with the phrase Its the economy, stupid. It was generally understood that Clinton was strong in economic policy, but an amateur at diplomacy. Clinton must have felt compelled to display his diplomatic prowess. The administration decided to recommence joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea, Team Spirit, in 1993 which former president Bush had put on hold. This provoked North Korea. Even before this decision, North Korea had been scheming to start a fight with the U.S. Clinton was trapped like a moth flying into a flame. On March 8, 1993, North Korea responded to IAEAs demands for special inspections and the U.S. announcement of Team Spirit 1993 by declaring a state of semi-wartime alertness. Four days later Pyongyang announced its withdrawal of membership from the NPT. North Korean refugees have said that during this period of semi-war alertness they were in a state of perpetual alertness. People slept with their shoes and feared that the Korean Peninsula would turn into a sea of fire at any moment. This level of alert was lifted at the end of Team Spirit, but the decision of withdrawing from the NPT stayed. The IAEA referred to the UN Security Council, claiming North Korea was uncooperative and that necessary inspections were no longer possible. The IAEA and U.S. took the position that the only remaining option 32

was for the UN Security Council to pass sanctions against North Korea for not playing by the rules. The NPT is no doubt a selfish club led by the U.S. in which nuclear weapons are monopolized by the great powers and newcomers are blocked to this club. As a member of the NPT, a country is no longer free to pursue its own nuclear program) essentially bringing it under U.S. hegemony. Quitting the NPT is therefore a clear act of provocation. By withdrawing from the NPT, North Korea was essentially declaring its intentions to pursue its own nuclear program and refuse to obey the U.S. The U.S. had never faced such a challenge. As the self-elected police of the world, U.S. could not allow Pyongyang to withdraw from the NPT as its authority would be discredited. It was necessary to threaten North Korea to return to its previously subservient position. Talks about pinpoint bombings of the North Korean nuclear sites were raised among American foreign-policy hawks. Sanctions against North Korea were discussed in the UN Security Council. North Korea threatened that it would consider any sanctions an act of war. Potential casualties for the U.S. and its allies were calculated in the event of war. A meeting was held on May 18th, 1995 attended by Secretary of Defense Perry, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Shalikashvili, and commander in chief of the combined forces in South Korea, General Luck, to debate the North Korean situation. The following day, the results of the meeting was brought to the White House and presented to the President of the United States, supreme commander of the armed forces. American journalist Don Oberdorfer writes:
Clinton was officially informed of the gravity and consequences of the conflict shaping up in Asia. If war broke out in Korea, his military leaders told him, they estimated it would cost 52,000 U.S. military casualties, killed or wounded, and 490,000 South Korean military casualties in the first ninety days, plus an enormous number of North Korean and civilian lives, at a financial outlay exceeding $61 billion, very little of which could be recouped from U.S. allies. This horrendous tragedy would be by far the gravest crisis of Clintons sixteen-mouth-old presidency, overwhelming nearly everything else he had planned or dreamed of doing at home or abroad. (The Two Koreas, pg 315)

U.S. Ambassador Laney to South Korea warned that if there was to be another Korean War, You could have 50,000 body bags coming home. (Oberdorfer, pg 302) General Luck estimated that the losses would be even more severe.
Due to the colossal lethality of modern weapons in the urban environments of Korea) as many as one million people would be killed in the resumption of full-scale war on the peninsula, including 80,000 to 100,000 Americans, that the out-of-pocket cost to the United States would exceed $100 billion, and that the destruction of property and interruption of business activity would cost more than $1,000 billion (one trillion) dollars to the countries involved and their immediate neighbors. (The Two Koreas, pg 324)


Clinton was shaken by these figures. Only a while back, a U.S. platoon consisting of 18 soldiers had been lost in Somalia and their corpses had been dragged through Mogadishu. U.S. public sentiment had turned strongly against war. Why should our sons suffer humiliating deaths overseas? The losses expected from North Korea were expected to be several thousands times more than Somalia. Let us consider the differences in the situations of Kim Jong Il and Clinton at the time. Kim Jong Il was facing an imminent threat to his own survival. At this rate, North Korea could collapse from the food and energy shortages and a Romanian-style uprising could eventually kill him and his family. Kim Jong Il was, as I mentioned earlier, therefore provoking the U.S. to divert internal problems outwards. Death waited with or without war. On the other hand, Clinton was not at any risk if he avoided war. He had options, unlike Kim Jong Il who was not unlike a man swimming frenetically to avoid drowning. Clinton was nowhere close to drowning. It was clear who had the upper hand. The difficult moment of choosing between war and appeasement arrived. On June 16, 1994, half-past ten in the morning Eastern Time, Vice-President Gore, Secretary of State Christopher, Secretary of Defense Perry, director of the CIA James Woolsey, chief negotiator with North Korea Galluci, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Shalikashvili waited for Clintons final decision. Secretary of Defense Perry described the moment:
When the president entered the room, he was much more solemn than usual; indeed, everyone there recognized the gravity of the situation. I reviewed the situation with the president and then told him that we had prepared three options to get ready to defeat a North Korean attack, if that became the only way we could block the North Koreans from getting a nuclear arsenal. I pointed out that none of these alternatives involved our initiating military action against North Korea, but that they all involved increasing our military forces in South Korea, one of them by a very considerable increment. All of these alternatives, I said, were certain to be considered provocative by North Korea: there was no risk-free course of action. We had to choose between an unpalatable and a disastrous option. I pointed out that while we had taken all feasible precautions in the proposed deployments, we could not rule out the possibility of a preemptive strike by the North Koreans when they saw us making these deployments. General Shalikashvili then proceeded to give a military analysis of each of three deployment options. President Clinton was within minutes of selecting and authorizing one of these deployment options when the meeting was interrupted by a phone call. (Preventive Defense, Ashton B. Carter and William J. Perry, Brookings Institution Press, pg 131)

The phone call was from former-President Carter. Chief Negotiator Galluci received the call in another room. Carter said he was calling from Pyongyang. I've spoken to Chairman Kim Il Sung. He has stated that he would like to respond to talks with the U.S. They had been saved in the nick of time. Sighs of relief spread throughout the room. It was not clear what Kim Il Sung was proposing, but it was a hopeful development, Secretary Perry wrote. 34

What were Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il doing in the meantime? Official documents released by North Korea shed light on these developments. Let us take a look. 4 Kim Jong Ils standing rises with the nuclear crisis

Kim Il Sung was concerned, more than anything, that his son Kim Jong Il neither had the presence nor the background to lead the military. Although he had awarded his son the highest and most prestigious military rank, it was still rank with little substance as Kim Jong Il did not have the experience to keep veteran soldiers in line. His father therefore chose the nuclear option. As the North Korean specialist Natalya Bazhanova has written, the plan was to elevate the status of Kim Jong Il with nuclear weapons. Kim Il Sung wanted Kim Jong Il to brandish the nuclear threat in a sort of rite of passage. The following scene is described in a novel based on actual events published in North Korea. The scene is set sometime in Febmary or March of 1993 when tensions between North Korea and the U.S. over its nuclear program were running high. Kim Il Sung posed the following question to Kim Jong Il and the generals of the Peoples Army. A war is about to break out any time now. Are you comrades ready? The commanders responded immediately in unison forcefully. Great Leader! We are confident. I am fully aware of your strong determination. But we must recall that the enemy is heartless and evil. What would happen if the enemy instigated a nuclear war? What would happen if our crazed enemies shot nuclear warheads into the fatherland and turned it into barren earth?' Silence took over the room. At this moment, the supreme commander comrade Kim Jong Il took a step forward, broke the silence, and spoke, as if spouting fire. Great Leader! If the enemies use nuclear weapons and turn our lands into barren earth, there is no way that the U.S. could stay safe. Without Chosen (North Korea), there can be no earth!' (Rekishi no Taiga, pg 319-320) This was a portion of an epic novel - Rekishi no Taiga (The Saga of History) from the series Fumetsu no Kyodo published in April 1997 by Bungaku Geijutsu Sogo Shupansha in Pyongyang. The series, which deifies Kim Jong Il and is written by a team of hired propaganda writers, is considered a semi-official document. The novel takes place from roughly the time when Kim Jong Il assumes the role of Supreme Commander in December, 1991 to the period when the Framework Agreement is concluded in Geneva in October, 1994. Although written as a novel, the characters and events which appear in the book are real and the descriptions are believed to be very close to actual events.


I digress, but when I visited Seoul in the end of 1993, I learned about the existence of this conversation from the staff member of the South Korean Army Public Security Headquarters, the information arm of the South Korean army. According to this staff member, Kim Jong Ils statement that Without North Korea, there will be no earth was incomplete. In fact, Kim Jong Il said the following: Without North Korea, there can be no Earth. If North Korea is going to disappear, I will smash the Earth to pieces. And Kim Il Sung responded to his sons words. Those are words suitable for a supreme commander. I was surprised to hear these details and asked how he knew the contents of a top-level meeting held in Pyongyang. He simply said - Wiretapping. The accuracy of his information was corroborated by later statements from North Korea. In the Labor Daily dated April 1st, 2003, Kim Jong Ils comments were paraphrased. Without North Korea, there can be no earth. If the enemies struggle and launch a nuclear strike, it is the will of our military and of our people to smash the earth to pieces. The Kim family lacks restraint, rationality, and any sense of responsibility as leaders of a nation. They are clearly the most shameless usurpers of this world. Kim Jong Ils absurd test of courage by Kim Il Sung continued. Kim Il Sung had instigated the Korean War in June of 1950 when he was 38 years old, riding on the coat-tails of two great powers, the Soviet Union and China. Kim Il Sung had dealt with over ten U.S. presidents, including Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, and Truman with whom he had directly waged war. Kim Il Sung was therefore relatively familiar with the ways of the U.S. leadership. But his son, having virtually no experience, did not inspire confidence. Jong Il needs experience so he can survive on his own. I'll have to train him while I'm still active, Kim Il Sung must have thought. And so the father pushed his son towards a game of nuclear confrontation with the U.S. His opponent is that young Clinton who had just become president. It should be a good lesson for my son to size up this mans courage. Either way, I will be setting the trap and resolving the crisis in good time. I suspect Kim Il Sung was probably thinking along these lines. U.S.-North Korean ties were at their most tense between May and June of 1994 during the refueling of the nuclear reactor core. This was when spent nuclear fuel rods were being removed from North Koreas graphite-moderated reactors. Accidents can occur unless used nuclear fuel rods are periodically taken out and exchanged with new ones, as happened in the massive accident at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union. But it is also possible to extract plutonium 239, the ingredient used in nuclear warheads, by reprocessing the uranium 238 which forms on the surface of the nuclear fuel rod. The replacing of the nuclear fuel rods is therefore considered a gateway to nuclear weapons production. The IAEA, among other organizations, monitors the process very carefully. I have already mentioned how North Korea had provoked the U.S. by intentionally exposing its nuclear facilities to their spy satellites and expressing intentions to develop nuclear weapons. Exchanging the nuclear fuel 36

rods was the next stage of provocation. Depending on the U.S. reaction, a war could ensue. A very difficult decision would have to be taken. Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il convened the members of the National Defense Commission. At that meeting the question was posed whether the country should go through with the exchange of fuel rods even at the risk of a war with the U.S. Kim Jong Il stood up and declared, We should defend our autonomy in any situation. In other words, Kim Jong Il did not fear a war with the U.S. The other members of the National Defense Commission responded We are in complete agreement with the will of our Comrade, the Supreme Commander (Kim Jong Il). It was Kim Il Sungs turn to express his opinion. The following quote is taken from the epic, Yong- Saeng (Eternal Life), published in June 1997 from the Bungei Gakujustu Sogo Shupansha in Pyongyang. As in the Rekishi no Taiga, the book was written by Kim Jong Ils propaganda writers to celebrate Kim Jong Ils greatness. The following description comes from this book.
The National Defense Commission members were aware that the time had come for the Great Leader to give his final decision. They sat nervously awaiting the moment of fate. And yet, the Great Leader did not give any commands to the Committee members. He directed his gaze slowly towards Kim Jong Il and said forcefully. I, too, will obey the command of the Supreme Commander. All members of the National Defense Commission looked towards the Dear Leader. They waited for his orders with eyes burning with tension. Comrade Kim Jong Il lifted one of his hands high and swung it down forcefully as if putting an end to the hundred of years of this countrys humiliation. Remove the cores immediately! The Dear Leaders voice shook through the room like thunder and silence returned slowly. (Yong Saeng, pg 87-88)

Though this is taken from an epic novel and the descriptions here are not documented fact, I suspect it is probably not far from what had actually happened. The pages which I quoted were taken from the Japanese translation published by Hakuhosha in July of 1997. There are, however, a number of mistranslations. For example, in the original, Kim Jong Il is described as the Organization General of the North Korean Workers Party, but the translation has made him General Secretary. The General Secretary at the time was clearly Kim Il Sung. There are other inaccuracies which I have corrected in the original text. This nuclear confrontation which started in January of 1992 continued until June of 1994 when former U.S. president Carter intervened. The Kim familys nuclear adventure had put the world at great risk. Kim Jong Il was later praised in the official North Korean media as a 37

leader of incomparable courage and the possessor of revolutionary principle who refused to compromise in the struggle against imperialism. As Kim Il Sung had intended, Jong Ils stock rose in the military. It had been a meticulously calculated game. 5 The U.S. has signed the instrument of surrender

Kim Il Sung died soon after the intervention of former President Carter. The intervention was announced in July 9th, 1994. U.S.-North Korean negotiations were held in Geneva, led by Kim Jong Ils right-hand man Kan Suk Ju, the First Deputy Foreign Minister. An agreement, later known as the Framework Agreement, was signed between the U.S. and North Korea on the 21st of October. This was not an international treaty, however, as a treaty must be ratified by the U.S. Congress. It was a measure of last resort; a treaty with North Korea was unlikely to pass the U.S. Congress, at the time dominated by Republicans. The Framework Agreement was therefore essentially nothing more than a gentlemans agreement. Gentleman Clinton sent a letter to His Excellency Kim Jong Il of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and personally guaranteed that measures in the agreement would be implemented. North Korea later pointed to the phrasing in the agreement to declare that the arrogant Americans have signed an instrument of surrender. (Labor Daily, March 24, 2001) The North Koreans were crowing about how they had utterly defeated the U.S. The contents of this Framework Agreement were naturally designed to be advantageous to North Korea, which had threatened the U.S. The U.S. acceded to all of the Norths demands. The agreement stipulated that the U.S. build two new light-water reactors (each costing over 2.3 billion U.S. dollars) in ten years time. In addition, the U.S. promised to supply an annual 500,000 tons of heavy oil as fuel until the reactors were completed. Pyongyang merely had to stop the operations of its graphite moderated reactors. They were to mothball these older reactors when the light-water reactors were completed in 2003. The spent fuel rods, potential nuclear arms material, were to be sealed and taken out of North Korea. But there was no clear indication as to when and to which country the rods were to be taken. The agreement contained neither any clauses forbidding the production of uranium war-heads nor clauses forbidding the reprocessing of already removed fuel rods. All of these loopholes were to be abused by North Korea eventually. It became evident in October 16, 2002 that the North Koreans had continued their nuclear weapons program after the agreement was signed. This revelation triggered the second North Korean nuclear crisis. Lets briefly review this second crisis. On October 15, 2002, Secretary of Defense Kelly met with North Korean counterparts in Pyongyang. North Korea had been purchasing equipment for the production of enriched uranium from Pakistan. The Secretary of Defense confronted the North Koreans with copies 38

of receipts for these purchases. Kim Jong Ils modus operandi has always been to deny and continue to lie even in the face of immovable proof. But this time, the North Koreans were defiant and admitted that they had continued a nuclear weapons program based on uranium. They threatened, moreover, that they possessed something even more powerful. The U.S. Secretary of Defense announced these developments on October 16th, 2002. A month earlier on September 17, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Kim Jong Il had signed the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration. In the declaration, North Korea had agreed to respect international agreements concerning nuclear armaments. On this and other conditions, the two countries agreed to an early normalization of ties. The U.S. looked skeptical at this sudden rapprochement. The U.S. was no doubt unhappy if ties between Japan and North Korea were normalized and if Japanese funds began flowing into a country with which it was still in a nuclear stand-off. To punish North Korea for breaking the Framework Agreement, the U.S. froze its shipments of heavy oil to North Korea from November of 2002. North Korea then judged the agreement annulled and began to reprocess 8,000 nuclear fuel rods which it had once sealed. It expelled IAEA monitors and withdrew from the NPT. Pyongyangs acts of provocation knew no limits some believe that their next step may be to carry out nuclear tests. From the onset, North Korea had no intention to respect the Pyongyang Declaration or the Framework Agreement. I asked Hwang Jang Yop, the top North Korean exile in Seoul in November 2001. - Were you shocked to hear North Korea admitting to its nuclear program? Certain people believe that North Korea has only recently been involved in its nuclear weapons program. They are enraged by it, but thats absurd. North Korea had already completed its nuclear program in 1986. They were burying used radioactive materials which they had reprocessed to produce nuclear arms. According to what Cho Byong Ho, the Secretary of the Munitions Industry, told me, they had buried the waste under a thick pile of dirt and planted various trees and plants over it, but the plants all quickly wilted. In the end, they constructed a huge storehouse the size of a soccer field over the radioactive material and filled the warehouse with weapons. They then said that This is a military facility so it should not be considered a site for nuclear inspection. According to Cho Byong Ho, however, it was impossible to hide the fact that there were radioactive materials there because any (radioactivity) gauge would react sharply when close by. - Has North Korea broken its promise which it made in the Geneva agreement to discontinue its nuclear program and deceived the U.S.? Kim Jong Il had no intention from the beginning to terminate his nuclear program. I learned from Kan Suk Ju (the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs) after he returned from arranging the Geneva agreement that if the U.S. insisted on inspecting specific facilities, they


would simply admit that they possessed nuclear arms. They would then negotiate with the U.S. on this basis. This strategy had been decided after discussions with Kim Jong Il. The North Koreans admitted to their nuclear weapons program this time because this sort of policy already existed. The U.S. was taking a hard line and it was no longer possible (for Pyongyang) to keep hiding its program. The North Koreans are trying to strike a deal with the U.S. while continuing nuclear arms production, gain reparations from Japan through normalization of ties, create special economic zones in Sinuiju and Kaesong, and rebuild their economy. (Shukan Bunshun November 28, 2002 edition.) The U.S. had been hoodwinked completely by Kim Jong Il. The Americans had delivered heavy oil and built light-water reactors and had also given North Korea time to enrich uranium. Now that the graphite-moderated reactors were running again, nothing had been gained by the U.S. China, could not bear to watch these developments further, and scrambled to invite South Korea, Russia, and Japan for six-nation talks in Beijing. These multilateral talks were held three times before the end of June 2004. The arguments here appeared to revert to the negotiations made in 1994. There is apparently no magic bullet to contain North Koreas lawlessness. This was not, as the Labor Daily wrote, a victory of the revolutionary principles of Kim Jong Il and his incomparable courage. The international community had simply not found an effective way to deal with his threat of nuclear war against the South Korean population and the U.S. servicemen in the region. There is also another complication: the U.S. may actually be covertly supporting North Korea despite its outward signs of hostility. In other words, the police and the criminal could be working together. The biggest mystery is why the U.S., which supposedly wanted to control the Norths nuclear program, offered to build not just one, but two, light-water reactors to North Korea. The explanation was to replace graphite-moderated reactors, which generates weapons-grade plutonium, with light-water reactors. But scientists have stated that lightwater reactors also generate plutonium. Henry Sokolski, an American nuclear energy specialist, claimed this in an article which took up most of the front page of the Washington Post of August 4th, 2002:
What has been widely ignored is that LWRs (light water reactors) also produce a lot of what is generally accepted to be weapons grade plutonium ... According to a Livermore weapons laboratory report written about the LWRs for North Korea, after the first scheduled refueling, about 15 months after initial start-up, a standard LWR will contain about 300 kilograms of near weapons-grade material. Thats a dozen bombs worth.

Republican Senator Cox of the House of Representatives has also stated that if the light-water reactor starts operating, spent fuel containing plutonium worth sixty-five nuclear war heads would accumulate every year. He criticized the Agreed Framework as not merely dangerous, but also mad. He has argued that if the goal was to prevent North Korea from going nuclear, 40

it was better to construct coal, oil, or even hydro-powered generators rather than light-water reactors. (a report co-signed by Senator Cox and presented to the Speaker of the House.) The particularly intriguing detail in all of this was that the North Korean side had actually suggested the construction of a thermal power plant. I learned this in Shimada Yoichis History of the U.S.-North Korea Conflict10. According to Mr Shimada, talks were held in Berlin as part of the U.S. -North Korean negotiations between September 10 and September 16 of 1994. The U.S. side was represented by Deputy Undersecretary Gary Samore from the Department of the State while the North Korean Side was led by Kim Jong Woo, the Chairman of the Committee for Advancing Foreign Economic Cooperation. Kim Jong Woo proposed that the U.S. supply North Korea with a normal thermal power plant fueled by a mixture of heavy oil and coal, rather than a light-water reactor. Kenneth Quinones, officer for North Korean Affairs, present at the meetings, recorded the discussions. He observed what appeared to be a struggle between two forces in North Korea, those who insisted on constructing light-water reactors and those in favor of thermal power plants. (Kenneth Quinones Kitachosen- beikokumusho tantokan no kosho hiroku (North Korea - the secret negotiation records of a U.S. state department North Korean affairs officer) Chuokoron Shinsha 2000, pg 345-347) The U.S. rejected Kim Jong Woos proposal on grounds that it would confuse the on-going negotiations. Kim Jong Woo was later arrested on another incident and executed in the end of 1997. All of these details are taken from Mr Shimadas book. Both Shimada and Quinones have not written any more about this issue. My interpretation is that the struggle between two forces actually existed. This was the struggle between Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. I will discuss this further in Chapter Three, but at the time, Kim Il Sung was advocating the construction of thermal power plants which could be put into operations to produce electricity faster than light-water reactors. Kim Jong Il, for reasons which I will explain later, was in favor of the light-water reactors. There are many mysteries in the North Korean-U.S. negotiations. The U.S., despite its numerous specialists and researchers, signed an agreement full of loopholes and was apparently deceived by Pyongyang on a number of points. Or perhaps the U.S. had pretended to be deceived for ulterior motives. At times I almost suspect some invisible and insidious force, beyond the will of the U.S. government and Senate, playing a role in those negotiations. Kim Il Sung proposed the construction of thermal power plants in the Economic Conference of ministers and economic specialists held on July 5 and 6, 1994. Kim Jong Woo must have been present listening to Kim Il Sungs proposals and was convinced that this was the will of the
10 , Amerika - Kitachosen Kososhi (pg 76)


Great Leader. But Kim Jong Il did not agree. Kim Il Sung died suddenly the next day. Kim Jong Woo was executed three years later. The power struggle between Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il was accompanied by a number of unexplained deaths. Researchers have not paid much attention to this fact, but the clash between Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung was the main catalyst for much of the turmoil in North Korea during the 1990s. Their struggle was a divisive conflict over how to deal with an internal and external crisis. The show-down eventually resulted in an incident which was to send tremors through out North Korea. The incident began in the autumn of 1990.


Chapter Three
The clash between Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il 1 Kim Il Sung reprimands Kim Jong Il over aid

Father and son jointly staged a fake war against the U.S. The father was desperately trying to make his son more respectable in the eyes of the military. From a distance, the relationship between father and Son appears to be a warm and close one. In fact, a serious rift was developing between the two. The rift would eventually escalate into an event that would shake the very foundations of North Korea. Kim Il Sung named his son Kim Jong Il as successor in 1973. He had taken pains to carefully hide the creation of this hereditary system to the outside world. After having presented his son as heir during the Sixth Congress of the Korean Workers Party (KWP) in October 1980, Kim Il Sung had slowly transferred various responsibilities to his son. By the end of the 1980s, almost all affairs of the state, apart from some diplomatic responsibilities, were being handled by Kim Jong Il. While Jong Il took charge of administering the country, Kim Il Sung was unaware of how the internal administration had begun to disintegrate. Though all domestic developments were reported to Kim Jong Il, he was selective in the information he gave to his father. Moreover, as it was common practice in most socialist states, achievements were exaggerated and statistics inflated when presented to superiors. Kim Il Sung was normally secluded in his palace, the Kumsusan Capitol (the official residence of Kim Il Sun) and had perhaps only a hundred staff members working directly for him. But Kim Jong Il, as head of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers Party, had over 3,600 people reporting to him. The son naturally had far more access to information than the father. The rift between the father and son first surfaced in the autumn of 1990. Kim Il Sung had learned about the disastrous state of agriculture in the country and reports of starvation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Agriculture had informed him about these problems, according to a former bureaucrat of the North Korean Foreign Ministry, now in exile in South Korea. The following are his comments.
After crops were harvested in the autumn of 1990, cadres in the relevant departments reported to Kim Jong Il of a poor harvest and the possibility that starvation deaths would increase. There had already been over 100,000 famine victims. The cadres asked if they could receive food aid from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to prevent the spread of famine. They argued that these conditions were threatening to the regime) and asked if they could accept a team of investigators from the WFP. Kim Jong Il gave permission to this proposal and ordered them to get 500,000 tons of food to support and develop the land reclamation project in Suhae.

The Suhae land reclamation project was an ambitious project of reclaiming tidal land in the mouth of the Taedong River which flowed into the Yellow Sea. The goal was to create over 500,000 hectares of agricultural land to make up for the shortage of arable land in North 43

Korea. The project which had commenced in 1981 was still not completed in 1990. It was necessary to prepare relevant data and statistics for the WFP in order to receive their food aid for this project. The former North Korean foreign ministry bureaucrat explained.
It was necessary for the cadres to submit relevant statistical data if they were to ask for food aid - data showing the number of famine victims and the reasons for the famine. They needed to prepare this data so that the WFP could grasp the situation. Such statistical data was kept by the Central Statistics Bureau. The cadre who was responsible for the food problem at the time was Vice-Minister Kong Jin Tae. Kon Jin Tae had met with members of the WFP and had later reported the meeting to Kim Il Sung. Kon Jin Tae had then asked for Kim Il Sungs permission to release statistical data to the WFP for food aid. Kim Il Sung was enraged. 'What do you mean? A famine? Are you saying we are going to beg for food? You even intend to give away statistical data, national secrets to foreigners!' He severely reprimanded and punished Kong Jin Tae and the cadres of the foreign ministry. Kim Il Sung then evicted the WFP investigators. Kim Jong Il was also severely reprimanded by Kim Il Sung over this incident.

The report of famine came as a bolt out of the blue for Kim Il Sung. Since he had announced his Program for the problem of socialist farming villages, Kim Il Sung was convinced that the country had produced bumper crops every year as a result of juche (self-reliant) agriculture. Since Kim Jong Il had taken center stage as his heir from the 1980, Kim Il Sung had paid little attention to internal administration. It is also necessary to remember that socialist bureaucracies tend to report inaccurate information to its leadership. Kim Il Sung had been boasting about the success of North Korean agriculture in his New Years address for 1990.
Last year was the 25th anniversary from the announcement of the program for the problem of socialist farming villages. Our farmers have shown a strong sense of responsibility as socialist laborers in the front line of agriculture, forcefully carrying out the struggle to achieve objectives established in the agricultural program. Our farmers have further solidified our nations socialist agricultural accounting system and raised agricultural lifestyle to new heights. We have successfully resolved the one of the great trials of socialism, the problem of agriculture and farmers, from an objective standpoint. We can clearly be proud that we have created a model for the creation of socialist agricultural villages.

Kim Il Sung was beaming with pride, but in fact agriculture in North Korea at the time was in a disastrous state. Harvests were declining yearly and had fallen so much that starvation deaths were appearing. Kim Il Sungs complete ignorance about conditions in the country was perhaps a sign of his gullibility, but it was also a testament to Kim Jong Ils ability to deceive his father so completely. According to a North Korean refugee, when Kim Il Sung made inspection tours to farming villages, he was taken to the best fields and shown households with pots filled with rice and refrigerators overflowing with meat and eggs. The 44

authorities had faked this household to illustrate how much the Great Leader has enriched the lives of the average farmer. Once Kim Il Sung left the village, however, the food in the household was taken away. Kim Il Sung refused to believe that the famine had become so widespread and the situation so desperate that North Korea needed to beg for food from the West. He was enraged by the preposterous suggestion to demand aid. Kim Il Sung, however, soon realized that this was indeed the reality and was considerably disappointed in Kim Jong Il. Kim Il Sung also felt obliged to steer the nation back on course. The 79-year-old Kim Il Sung returned with fervor to the front lines of national administration. His return to office, however, created an impassable conflict with Kim Jong Il over policy decisions which were to eventually result in an ultimate showdown. The WFP was hardly aware that such a serious rift was developing between Kim father and son. In the meantime, the WFP formed a five person exploratory mission led by John M Powell, a high-ranking WFP official. 2 Report of the investigative mission of the UN WFP

The mission from the WFP arrived in Pyongyang on March 5, 1991 and stayed for nineteen days until March 23. A report of their mission was released on April 10, 1991, from their main office in Rome. The fourteen page document was titled Report of the World Food Programme Exploratory Mission to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. This invaluable report helped me understand conditions in North Korea and Kim Jong Ils thinking at the time. The report was difficult for me to comprehend at first, and I suspected that this was due to my weak comprehension of English, Though I was frustrated by my own inability, it soon became apparent that this was not the only reason that it was hard to follow the text. The ambiguous phrasing of the WFP report was caused by Kim Jong Ils deception. The report writes that North Korea sought food aid to assist development programs. The mandate of the WFP is food assistance and famine relief, not development programs. From the onset, the mission was confused by the North Korean demands. The WFP nevertheless decided to contact representatives in Pyongyang and the North Korean embassy in Rome in the beginning of December 1990 in order to evaluate their demands. The WFP also submitted a detailed request to the North Koreans for relevant data to be prepared in advance of their arrival. The North Korean side responded positively to the requests. But once the WFP mission arrived in Pyongyang, things were not as had been promised. North Korea is one of the most closed societies, even among socialist states. Minders, euphemistically called guides, are assigned to each and every visiting foreign visitor. Not only do these guides closely monitor the foreigners activity during the day, but they 45

continue monitoring them at night, staying in the same hotel in an adjacent room. Only North Korean minders go to such extremes. This was what awaited the WFP investigators who had believed they would be able to go to farms, observe agricultural conditions, and speak to North Korean farmers directly. Instead, the WFP workers were kept isolated in a hotel where all meetings with government officials were held. The WFP investigators tried to speak to farmers on cooperatives and government-run farms, but were obstructed by the authorities.
Lack of access to people and information has prevented the mission from achieving its stated objective. Prior to its arrival, the mission was assured that arrangements had been made to provide a limited set of available socioeconomic data, the provision of which was an indispensable condition for any substantive analysis and hence informed dialogue. Unfortunately, this condition was not met.

Official reports written by public institutions in any country use indirect and euphemistic phrases, more or less, out of diplomatic consideration. The cautious statements of this WFP report, however, hid an underlying sense of anger and disappointment. Didnt we tell you to prepare the data? You had promised us this earlier. Why couldn't you keep your promise? the WFP investigators seemed to be saying. The WFP mission was at first confused by the situation. The investigators eventually comprehended what the North Korean government, in other words, what Kim Jong Il, was demanding of them after limited talks with various officials and carefully rehearsed meetings with managers of farms. The North Koreans kept referring to various development programs: the Suhae tidal land reclamation project, increasing agricultural production, reforestation, and mass mobilization of labor. The North Koreans, in a roundabout-way, were demanding aid for these projects. The Suhae reclamation is an ambitious project to create 300,000 hectares of farm land and requires tremendous funds to complete. The North Korean authorities wanted financial aid for this project. But the report notes that North Korea claims to have no unemployed or under-employed people and hence no excess labor which could be mobilized to work for food. The citizens all enjoy happy lives and do not need any food assistance. Though the report does not write, Why did you call us if you need no food aid?, the frustration can clearly be read between the lines of the missions report. The North Koreans, however, demanded the following, according to the WFP report:
The government would like to receive WFP assistance which it would use as a budget support to reduce its expenditure on tidal land reclamation and other programmes.

The phrasing is tortured because of a hidden ploy in this demand. In plainer words, North Korea was saying that it would accept food aid, but not as famine relief, but for the financing of development projects. This logic mirrors the way Kim Jong Il used the great floods of 1995 as a pretext to demand international food aid and then turned around and diverted this aid for its nuclear and missile programs. Kim Jong Il had already devised this ploy of using foreign aid to subsidize other projects by the time the WFP was invited to Pyongyang in 1991. 46

Lack of access to relevant data make it impossible to examine the case for programme budget support food aid which, in any case, is beyond WFPs mandate.

The WFP is an organization that provides food aid to countries with famines or food shortages. It is not an organization that assists development. The North Korean demands were at cross-purposes with WFP goals. The banned investigators were confronted later with what amounted to a conclusive breach of faith.
On 19 March 1991, the mission was informed that for some special reasons the information sought by the mission could not be released but the Government hoped to be able to do so in the future.

I am convinced that the special reason was none other than Kim Il Sungs intervention described earlier in this chapter from the former North Korean foreign ministry official. The investigators, however, were at a loss. Without the necessary data, the WFP mission decided it was pointless to stay any longer in Pyongyang. They left four days later on March 23. Kim Il Sungs obstruction of the WFP mission is mentioned in the South Korean almanac Hokkan jyoho soran (Northern Almanac).
The WFP mission met with Deputy Minister Kon Jin Tae and told him explicitly that unless they receive the requisite statistical data they could not offer food aid. Informed about the meeting, Kim Il Sung severely reprimanded those responsible in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Agricultural Committee for inviting a mission which demanded North Koreas national secrets and conspired to topple the regime. They were severely penalized. The mission eventually abandoned its investigations and left mid-way through their visit. (pg 371)

This mishap was a result of a rift in the thinking of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Given only falsified reports, Kim Il Sung knew little about agricultural conditions in the countryside. Kim Jong Il, however, was painfully aware that if the food shortages continued, the situation could get out of hand. This sense of crisis led him to seek foreign aid. But Kim Jong Il could not ask openly for food supplies because of famine conditions. If he were to admit to the famines, it would be sullying the name of the Great Leader and his genius leadership. Kim Il Sung was convinced that the people were enjoying prosperous lives and were grateful for his beneficial rule. Stating that Kim Il Sungs rule had caused starvation would be a complete denial of fifty years of his political efforts. North Korea was also competing economically with South Korea at the time. A public admission of famine by North Korea would also be an admission of economic failure. Kim Jong Il therefore approached the WFP with the expression food aid to support development programs and invited the mission to Pyongyang. At this point, Kim Jong Il was also planning on developing his nuclear and missile program for political survival. In 1990, the Soviet Union had terminated all aid for the North Korean 47

nuclear program before breaking apart itself in December of that year. Kim Jong Il was left with the choice of seeking aid from international aid programs by appealing to them with the pretext of famine. But this was not going to be possible because of his father. I will quote the missions text once again. This was the message that the North Korean authorities, in other words Kim Jong Il, gave the mission.
For some special reasons the information sought by the mission can not be released but the Government hopes to be able to do so in the future.

It was not possible to release information now, but hopes to be able to do so in the future. In other words, the information could be released if Kim Il Sung was no longer around. Though Kim Il Sung was already 79 at the time, he intended to live to a hundred with the help of over 3,000 doctors, scientist, and agricultural specialists working in the so-called Longevity Laboratory. But Kim Jong Il had other plans. He felt compelled to demand food aid, even though it may require admitting to famine conditions, in order to quell food riots and prop up his regime. As long as Kim Il Sung was breathing, this was not possible. If only my father was not alive ... these thoughts must have begun to cross Kim Jong Ils mind. This powerful WFP report seems to have almost forecasted Kim Il Sungs death three years later. 3 Kim Il Sung endeavors to revive agriculture

It was during the end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992 that Kim Il Sung realized that the nations agriculture was failing. At that time, Kang Song San, the former prime minister who had been demoted to governor of North Hamgyong province by Kim Jong Il, directly petitioned Kim Il Sung about the disastrous food conditions in his province. This petition was described to me by Kang Myong Do, the daughter-in-law of Kang Song San, who had fled to South Korea in 1994. Former prime minister Kang Song Sans father was Kang Wi Ryong, the partisan fighter who had died fighting the Japanese. After the end of the Japanese colonial occupation, Kang Song San graduated from the elite Mangyungdae Revolutionary Academy and later studied at Prague Industrial University. He had experienced most of the important posts in the government and the Workers Party and was well-versed in the economy. Soon after he was selected for premiership, he established what at that time was a groundbreaking joint-management law designed to encourage foreign capital into North Korea. He was an original thinker and stubborn man who said what he thought. Kang Song Sans personality bought the displeasure of Kim Jong Il and he was often uninvited to the Dear Leaders drinking banquets.


Kang Son San matter-of-factly reported the conditions in North Hamgyong based on his experience as governor. He warned that unless counter-measures were taken immediately, the situation would become very serious. Kim Il Sung came to his senses with this petition. Acknowledging the horrible conditions of agriculture and the peoples lives, Kim Il Sung decided in his New Years speech of 1992, to make this the year of agriculture. He announced that, The nation must realize the peoples century-long dream to eat white rice and meat soup, wear silken clothes, and live in tiled-roof homes. South Korea had largely achieved these goals in the 1970s. It must have been embarrassing to have to announce such long-overdue national goals. Kim Il Sung sought to learn about conditions in the farming villages by making surprise inspections. Shosetsu Kinnisei (Kim Il Sung) (Bungei Shunju, translated by Hagiwara Ryo, 1994) written by Lee Hang Gu, a former official for the South Korean Military Counterintelligence Agency, is believed to be a highly accurate account of events. According to this book, Kim Il Sung sneaked into a small cooperative farm in South Hwanghae Province, Sinchon County, early in the morning for a surprise inspection. The book describes how the Great Leader saw an old woman eating grass gruel. He called the local cadres for an explanation.
One agricultural worker was eating grass porridge for breakfast. How can she have the strength to work with just porridge? I am shocked to see farmers in this rice-growing area having to eat grass porridge! Are you telling me that the result of fifty years of my politics, of Kim Il Sungs rule, is that the people can only afford to eat porridge!?

In the Twentieth Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee, held on December 10, 1992, Prime Minister Yun Hung Muk was relieved of his post and replaced by Kang Song San. In the Fourth Session of the Ninth Supreme Peoples Assembly, Kang Song San, was elected as the new prime minister. All of this was carried out under Kim Il Sungs directions. Yun Hun Muk was asked to take responsibility for the failure of economic policy, particularly the poor performance of agriculture, and was demoted from a Political Bureau Member to a Political Bureau Altemate Member. He was sent down to serve as the governor and Party Committee Secretary for Chagang Province. As he was part of Kim Jong Ils entourage, the demotion of Yon Hung Muk, could be interpreted as Kim Il Sungs indirect reproach of his son. Kim Il Sung joined forces with Kang Song San and pulled himself out of retirement to revitalize the economy during 1993. Returning to the front line of economic policy decisions, which his son had overseen until then, Kim Il Sung discovered an unexpectedly ravaged countryside full of weary citizens. The 21st Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee was held on December 8, 1993, the last year of a seven-year economic plan which had commenced in 1987. Kang Song San presented a report to the Central Committee entitled, Summary of the implementation of the third seven-year plan and the direction of economic development in the near term. The report admitted that goals set out in the seven-year plan had not been accomplished. 49

The bottom-line was that the plan had been a failure, which effectively was severe criticism of Kim Jong Il. The report announced a two to three year adjustment period giving citizens a rest. It was a realistic decision which acknowledged the futility of whipping people to work like carthorses towards higher and higher production targets. The new prime ministers earlier petition had apparently affected Kim Il Sung greatly. In this conference, Kim Il Sung announced a policy to prioritize agriculture, light industry, and trade. Until now, economic policy was heavily focused on heavy industry, but the focus was shifted to the livelihood of the people. Kim Il Sung concluded with the following statements:
By realizing the priorities of agriculture, light-industry, and trade, the peoples problems of food, clothing, and shelter can be even more harmoniously resolved. We can then enjoy even richer lives. Even if the capitalists seek to suppress our nations socialism and however they may conspire, our nations socialism will not collapse ... ... We can increase grain production of one hectare by using fertilizer. This year a cooperative farm in the South Hwanghae province used 600 kilograms of nitrogen fertilizer and produced six tons of grain. With 800 kilograms of fertilizer, eight tons of grain were harvested; with one ton of fertilizer, ten tons of grain were harvested. The ratio between fertilizer use and grain production is therefore one to ten. The more fertilizer used, the more grain can be harvested. (Kin Nissei chossakushu, Kim Il Sungs Collected Works, Volume 44 Korean Workers Party Publishing, pg 281)

Kim Il Sung heatedly stressed the need to produce more fertilizer. Since the total area of grain production in North Korea is 1.3 million hectares, and one hectare produces approximately eight tons with the use of fertilizers, over 10 million tons of grains could be produced - Kim Il Sung calculated optimistically and called for thorough efforts to revitalize agriculture. On January 1, 1994, Kim Il Sung announced in his New Year speech that the adjustment period to give citizens a rest would last for three years. He confirmed that during this time, the country would prioritize agriculture, light-industry, and trade to improve the peoples lives. The highlight of this Central Committee Plenary Session was the return of Kim Yong Ju, brother of Kim Il Sung who had fallen from power after a fierce struggle with Kim Jong Il for successorship in the early 1970s. He had been re-instated as a political staff member after 18 years of political exile. He was chosen as Vice-chairman on the following day, December 9, during the Sixth Session of the Ninth Supreme Peoples Assembly. Until then, Kim Yong Jus whereabouts were unknown. Rumor had it that he was on his death bed in a sanitarium in the mountainous regions of the Chagang province or that he was in the Juul hot springs or that he had gone insane. When I was a correspondent for the Akahata in Pyongyang, I covered the famous NorthSouth Joint Declaration. Kim Yong Ju signed this declaration for North Korea, while Lee Hu Rak, head of the KCIA, signed for South Korea. Kim Yong Ju, who had held the critical post of 50

the head of the Korean Workers Party Organization and Guidance Department, was expected to succeed Kim Il Sung. His political influence was incomparable at the time. When Kim Jong Il was chosen successor in 1973, Kim Yong Ju was placed in house arrest deep in the mountains. For a while, he had simply disappeared. Some North Korean specialists have suggested that his reappearance 18 years later was a result of conflicting personnel recommendations from Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. I see it as Kim Il Sungs attempt to display family unity in the face of an unprecedented crisis for the regime. Kim Yong Ju, already 72 years old at the time, no longer had the strength to challenge Kim Jong Il. Above all, the command of the military, which had once been in the hands of the President, had been transferred to the Chairman of the National Defense Commission in the constitutional revisions of April 1992. Kim Jong Il assumed the post of Chairman in April 1993 and held supreme command over the military. In the military dictatorship of North Korea, Kim Jong Il was all-powerful. But the decision may have appeared to the paranoid Kim Jong Il as the first step towards pulling him down from power. The relationship between father and son started to sour from this point. News of this rift between Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il began leaking to the outside world from a variety of sources from around 1992. Completely conflicting orders were given by father and then by the son to the Foreign Ministry. According to one exile, Kim Jong Il would publicly refer to his father as Great Leader, but within his inner entourage, he would use words like yonggam (grandpa) or nulguni (old man). Kim Il Sung must have been enraged as he cleaned up after Kim Jong Ils irresponsible leadership, and was forced to become involved in restructuring the economy and agriculture. Kim Il Sung had fully come out of retirement to promote agriculture, light industry, and trade. The son, however, watched his father coolly from a distance. 4 Kim Jong Il watches coolly

Kim Jong Il watched his father return from retirement and work towards agricultural revival. The fathers policies increasingly appeared to contradict Kim Jong Ils plans and goals. What then, did Kim Jong Il foresee for the future? Above all, Kim Jong Il believed it was necessary to eliminate internal enemies and make certain that he did not end up as Ceauescu had. It was also necessary to strengthen and closely control the military. To deal with these two challenges, I believe Kim Jong Il hit upon the measure of controlling food supplies. Food was to be the weapon that would lead Kim Jong Il to victory in these two crusades. In fact, Kim Il Sung had originally used food supplies as a way to control the nation. He had suppressed the disgruntled masses and consolidated his regime by controlling food supplies following the Korean War. Kim Il Sung had forbade all forms of private farming) forcing 51

farmers to join cooperatives or government-run farms and only permitted private farming in tiny garden patches. In an effort to eradicate capitalist tendencies in the people, Kim Il Sung had forbidden all forms of private enterprise. Citizens were only given food rations if they worked at public workplaces. Absence from work would be punished by a reduction in the food rations, which meant citizens could not stay home from work for minor ailments. By controlling food distribution, Kim Il Sung ruled over the life and death of the people and created a system in which it was necessary to fully embrace Kim Il Sung. Our father the Great Leader who gives us food and allows us to live. Our beloved leader who shows us more love than our own blood and kin. Kim Il Sung forced citizens to refer to him in this way to control the masses and maintain the regime. North Korea is also a completely stratified society. Due to the division of peninsula in two and the Korean War, the country has continued to be politically unstable. From September to December of 1950, the U.S. and South Korean joint forces temporarily occupied all areas of North Korea. A large number of the North Koreans, rather than fighting the invading joint forces, welcomed and assisted the occupying forces. Though some North Koreans were coerced at bayonet point to co-operate, those that had welcomed the invaders were deemed lackeys of the South Korean army. They were executed or sent down to the hostile class. Those and their family who were labeled as members of this class were unable to continue schooling, join the Peoples Army or the Workers Party, and faced a lifetime of persecution. Kim Il Sung created the core class at the polar opposite of the hostile class. Members of this class were treated well and considered the backbone of the regime. Apart from the usual food rations, they were allowed to purchase quality products at subsidized prices from stores that existed solely for these cadres. These stores were ranked Number One Store, Number Two Store, etc. to cater to different levels within the core class. Kim Jong Il must have decided to borrow his fathers time-honored technique of controlling the people by controlling food supplies - holding the reins to their life and death. As the North Korean population relies completely on food rations, abusing the rationing system was the most effective measure for Kim Jong Il to control the populace. I therefore established a hypothesis that Kim Jong Il saw food control as a weapon to eliminate his political enemies. Another goal of Kim Jong Ils struggle was to strengthen the military. Thanks to the excellent guidance of his father, Jong Il was able to play the nuclear card and negotiate as equals with the U.S., the worlds greatest military super power. From 1993 to 1994, Kim Jong Il threatened the U.S. with nuclear war under the patronage of Kim Il Sung. Kim Jong Il then extorted compensation in negotiations held in New York and Geneva. Already during the second round of high-level talks between the U.S. and North Korea in July of 1993, North Korea was demanding two light-water reactors in exchange for scrapping their graphite-moderated reactor. The U.S. was at first amazed when suddenly faced with such a preposterous demand for two costly nuclear generator facilities, each valued at over 2 billion U.S. dollars. But after various twists and tums, the U.S. later agreed. Following former 52

U.S. President Carters intervention in June, 1994, the framework agreement (October 21, 1994) was signed between the two parties. After extorting the light-water reactors from the U.S., Kim Jong Il leaned further towards a policy emphasizing military and armaments. As it became apparent later, Kim Jong Il began conceiving a total military dictatorship system, called the military-first politics, from around this time. But Kim Il Sung, learning about the reality of his hungry, exhausted citizens, decided to carry out a massive turnabout in policy. He decided to focus on the livelihood of the people and promote agriculture and light-industry over heavy industry. Prioritizing the military would take away from the peoples lives, and so. Kim Jong Ils policy clearly clashed with his fathers intentions. According to Kin Shonichi sengun seiji (Kim Jong Ils Military-first Politics) (a booklet, supervised by Kim Jong Il, published from Pyongyang Gaikoku Shuppansha in 2002), Kim Jong Il reportedly said in the end of the 1990s that,
We can survive without being able to make cakes and candy, but unless we can make weapons and ammunition, we can not survive. (Kin Shonichi sengun seiji, pg 60)

The son was apparently ridiculing his late father who had been preoccupied with ways in which he could relieve the peoples hunger in 1993. These words could not have been published while Kim Il Sung was still alive. According to what I learned directly from Hwang Jang Yop, if Kim Il Sung learned of ten people dying from starvation, he would be filled with dismay and become flustered. Kim Jong Il, however, would not bat an eye even if tens of thousands starved to death. Kim Il Sung was unhappy to see his citizens starve and suffer. He viewed the nation as a large family and took pleasure from acting the part of the compassionate oboi father of the nation. Learning about the reality of people suffering from starvation, Kim Il Sung was roused with a desire to do something in spite of his age. Kim Jong Ils anguish mounted. Many North Korea watchers within the country and abroad noted that Kim Jong Il had become conspicuously skinnier during this time. And then an unexpected situation turned up. 5 The father-son struggle over the South-North Summit Meeting

Kim Il Sungs invitation of South Korean president Kim Yung Sam for the first summit meeting in history came as totally unexpected news to Kim Jong Il. Kim Il Sung had responded to overtures from former U.S. President Carter who had flown into Pyongyang in the eleventh hour of the staged nuclear crisis with the U.S. After Kim Il Sung had promised Carter to switch to peaceful negotiations with the U.S., Carter had suggested Kim Il Sung meet with South Korean President Kim Yung Sam. Carter, who had come to North Korea via South Korea, had 53

been asked by Kim Yung Sam to present this proposal. Expecting Kim Il Sung to stubbornly refuse, Carter was surprised by the unreserved acceptance of the invitation Kim Il Sung responded to former U.S. President Carter: I can meet the South Korean president anywhere, anyplace. There is no need for preconditions or prior negotiations. I would like to hold talks as soon as possible. Please kindly tell President Kim Yung Sam this. Kim Yung Sam responded the next day and agreed enthusiastically to a summit meeting. It was now only necessary to decide upon a date and the subjects for discussion. Kim Jong Il was stunned. The South Korean President was likely to bring gifts to this historical summit meeting. South Korea, having plenty of money, was likely to come forward to offer dollars or massive food supplies. In the event, Kim Il Sungs policy of agriculture first and his economic reforms would be backed up by South Korean funding. Even without South Korean backing, Kim Il Sungs efforts to reconstruct agriculture and the economy threatened to derail Kim Jong Ils plans for a military-first dictatorship. A summit meeting would really throw a spanner in the works. This had to be stopped, whatever it took. Kim Jong Il pleaded with Kim Il Sung to cancel the summit meeting, but Kim Il Sung refused to listen. The two argued over the phone several times about canceling the summit. Kim Il Sung finally threatened Jong Il by stating I will have to exercise my authority as the General Secretary of the Korean Workers Party and hold the summit. This conversation was recorded in the North Korean epic novel, Yong Saeng, which I will mention in more detail later. If Kim Il Sung used his authority as General Secretary, Jong Il, who is only the Organization Secretary of the Workers Party, would be forced to obey. The iron-clad rule of the communist party is that the lower rank unconditionally obeys the higher rank. Preparations for the summit progressed smoothly and the dates of the meeting were determined on June 28. The summit was to be held for three days from July 25 to July 27 in Pyongyang. Most negotiations between North and South Korea usually took several months as both sides bickered over the smallest details. In this ease, however, the summit dates were decided in only ten days - an unprecedented short period of time. With only a month left before the summit, Kim Jong Ils distress deepened. His normally obese figure and protruding potbelly, nourished by his gluttonous habits for rich foods, shrank visibly. In the meantime, Kim Il Sung was full of vigor ahead of the summit. He had been waiting for this opportunity to open the door to unification for the last fifty years. He prepared for the summit with undivided attention, ordering his close economic cadres to hold two days of economic conferences on issues relating to unification on July 5th and 6th. Yong Saeng records that Kim Jong Il opposed these measures and asked Kim Il Sung to consider the state of your health, but his father refused to listen. The speech which Kim Il Sung gave at this economic conference was entitled, In carrying out a new revolutionary shift in the creation of a socialist economy and was described as the conclusion of the conferences held by cadres responsible for the economy. The speech was included in volume 44 of Kin Nissei chossakushu 54

(Kim Il Sungs collected works) published in Pyongyang in June 1996 after Kim Il Sungs death from Chosen Rodoto Shuppansha. (pg 474 to 481) The speech outlines a specific road-map for economic revival based on investigations into the actual conditions of the country by Kim Il Sung since 1992. The proposed measures are given enthusiastically and the content is detailed. In the introductory remarks to his speech, Kim Il Sung stated that there were many problems which needed to be resolved towards constructing a socialist economy, but that he would like to focus his attention on a number of urgent issues. He continued:
Above all, we must resolve the problem of electrical power. Since electricity is inadequately produced, factories and companies can not function. Unable to produce fertilizer (without electricity), agriculture has also suffered considerably. It will take too long to construct an atomic power plant to resolve the power shortages. We do not have materials to produce a hydro-electric power plant, and these plants have the disadvantage of relying on rain. Coal production is also insufficient for thermal power plants. Crude oil-based power plants are optimal. Petroleum is not particularly expensive and can be bought from overseas. Build petroleum power plants, each with the output capacity of 200,000 kilowatts, in Hamhun, Haeju, and Sariwon. Save foreign currency and seek to build a crude oil power plant in North Hamgyong prefecture with the capacity of 300,000 to 500,000 kilowatts. By resolving the power shortage, the production of chemical fertilizers can be normalized and from the next year, 850,000 tons of fertilizer could be produced and distributed to the farming villages annually. Vinaron11 production has been suspended, but this must also be normalized. Since vinaron production has ceased, there is no cloth and we were unable this year to distribute new clothes to students who had entered school. How good would it be if we could distribute new clothes to all kindergarteners and students in the country by June of next year? By normalizing cement production, we have the capacity to produce an annual surplus of six million tons which can be exported. At 30 dollars a ton, we can earn over 180 million U.S. dollars. High-quality cement over 300 marka (international standard for cement quality) is worth 50 dollars a ton. Six million tons of cement would be worth 300 million dollars. If six million tons is not possible, five million would do. That would still earn 250 million dollars.

After saying this, Kim Il Sung described in detail the need for steel materials to build trucks to carry the cement. North Korea must look towards Southeast Asian trade now that it has lost trading partners in the socialist bloc. Several years ago, Kim Il Sung had ordered the construction of one hundred large cargo ships, but this had not yet been achieved. After ordering these detailed measures, Kim Il Sung made the following unprecedented suggestion:
I would like to undertake economic collaboration with any country which offers partnership with us. Of course, we can survive without the economic collaboration of other countries, but there is no loss from such economic collaboration either.
11 A synthetic fiber developed in North Korea.


South Korea was clearly included among other countries. Until now, North Korea had been refusing economic collaboration with foreign countries, particularly South Korea, believing it to be the first step to an economic invasion by imperialists. This was a complete tumabout. Kim Il Sung must have been counting on huge economic aid from South Korea, expected to amount to one billion dollars, which the South Korea president was likely to offer at the summit meeting. Kim Il Sung added,
Kim Yung Sam will be bringing a retinue of over 180 people when coming to Pyongyang. Among them, 80 are expected to be journalists ... I called the relevant cadres and said it would be no problem even if 800 journalists came. They should be allowed to walk freely around Pyongyang. These South Korean journalists are coming to see Pyongyang. However many come and look around, they will find nothing to complain about. By showing our city to them, the journalists will only find splendid things here. All foreigners who come to Pyongyang say that Pyongyang is far better than Seoul. Carter was of the same mind, saying that there was no city as clean and beautiful as Pyongyang.

Kim Il Sung was in high spirits. His actions were unprecedented, including the speedy agreement on the date and the topics for the summit, not to mention his open attitude in the above speech. He was eager to rebuild the countrys economy with South Korean help. Kim Jong Il did not attend any of these conferences. According to the semi-official text of Yong Saeng, Kim Jong Il requested tape recordings of the conferences and listened to the full account on July 6, the night the conference ended. Kim Jong Il realized that the situation had come to a point which admitted no delay. A summit meeting, the first since the peninsula was split in two 50 years ago, was approaching in 19 days. Kim Jong Il had already devised a scheme to avert the regimes crisis. He intended to demand foreign aid by playing the famine card and strengthen his military. Kim Il Sungs intentions, however, derailed these plans and left no room for compromise. Kim Il Sung was convinced that the only way of overcoming this unprecedented crisis was to fundamentally rebuild agriculture and fix the bankrupt economy. He believed that by resolving the peoples daily needs, popular sentiment would be stabilized. He had therefore taken the unexpected decision of seeking aid from the South Korean president. The rift of opinion between father and son had become a struggle over policy. This eventually developed into what appeared to be a struggle over power. The day after the economic conferences ended, on the night of July 7, 1994, Kim Il Sung suddenly died. 6 Kim Il Sungs sudden death

On July 9, 1994, an elderly male television anchor in Pyongyang, wearing a mourning dress, announced with anguish: We announce to all citizens and party members with the greatest sadness, the passing away of Our Great Leader and comrade Kim Il Sung. The news spread through the world in an instant. NHK television in Japan had just started its noon news, but at 56

12:03 pm, the station interrupted its usual broadcast to report the death of Kim Il Sung. In no time, thousands of people had gathered in front of the soaring bronze statue of Kim Il Sung in Mansude Hill in the center of Pyongyang. The mourners were crying and wailing, some of them pounding the ground in lamentation, turning the hill into a sea of tears. Thirty minutes later, the television news announced the medical report which made public the cause of Kim Il Sungs death. The following is the full text of the medical report.
The medical results concerning Comrade Kim Il Sungs ailment and cause of death: Our Beloved Great Leader and Comrade Kim Il Sung had been receiving treatment for sclerosis of the cardiac arteries. On account of repeated mental stress, a severe coronary thrombosis occurred on July 7, 1994, complicated by a heart attack. Various treatments were performed immediately, but the heart attack deteriorated and Our Beloved Great Leader passed away at 2 am on July 8. In the postmortem autopsy undertaken on July 9, 1994, the diagnosis that the death was caused by illness was fully confirmed.

The North Korean people who revered Kim Il Sung as a deity were stupefied by his sudden death. It felt as if the heavens had fallen, I was lost at how would I continue to live, What was the longevity laboratory doing? Until the day before, our leader was vigorously active in politics, why did he suddenly pass away? These were the various comments I heard recounted by exiles that had fled North Korea after Kim Il Sungs death. Rumors about the causes of his death spread quietly. In the North Korean regime, most people accepted without doubt the announcements of the authorities. There were some, however, who suspected and voiced rumors that Kim Il Sung may have been murdered or driven to death by some outside pressure. Let us examine the medical report. The main problem with this medical report is that the place of death is not given. Where did Kim Il Sung die? Don Oberdorfer later learned from Mun Myong Ja, a U.S.-based South Korean journalist, who had contacted a North Korean high-level official during the funeral of Kim Il Sung that the Great Leader had died in the Myohyangsan residence. (The Two Koreas, pg 514) Another South Korean Journalist, Wu Jong Chang, had also interviewed a Chinese man who had met a high-ranking North Korean official in Yanbian who confirmed this. (Shukan shincho, August 4, 1994). The Myohyang villa is 160km north of Pyongyang, in the middle of the mountains of North Pyongang province near the border of Jakang Province. Kim Il Sung preferred this villa, set in an area of scenic beauty, to all others. He had been planning to invite the South Korean president here during his visit. The autopsy was supposedly performed on July 9, but the exact time is not given. Even if the autopsy was held at midnight on the 9th, that would still be 22 hours after the reported time of


death. Was the body simply left untouched during all that time? I will explain in detail in the next section, but the date of the autopsy simply disappeared from later reports. The time of death, which the report states was at two am, is also suspicious. Wu Jong Chang calculates the time of death to between 9 and 10pm on the night of the July 7. The chairman of the Japanese-based Chosen Soren - Han Dok Su - who attended Kim Il Sungs funeral, also believes that the death occurred during the evening of the 7th. Two oclock in the morning is a time when most people are asleep. Most people would assume that Kim Il Sung died unnoticed by aides, doctors, and nurses who were asleep at the time. Kim Il Sung supposedly died from coronary thrombosis, complicated by a heart attack. In other words, if Kim Il Sung had a heart attack in the middle of the night, questions would not be raised about what the doctors were doing at the time. Kim Il Sung apparently died from a very convenient ailment at a very convenient time. But let us accept the medical report at face value for now. In fact, accounts contradicting the findings of the medical report later appear in Kim Jong Ils official publications. The account appears in the epic novel Yong Saeng published in June of 1997, three years after Kim Il Sungs death. The book is part of the Fumetsu no rekishi (Immortal History) series which exalts Kim Jong Il published by Bungei Gakujustu Sogo Shupansha in Pyongyang. The authors are Pak Po Hum and Son San Wong, two unknown writers. Although the book has been authored privately, there is no freedom to publish books in North Korea without the permission of the Workers Party. Unlike capitalist countries, most socialist countries do not permit free speech, publication or association. It is an unimaginable world for those who live in modern democratic states. The intellectual discourse of this world can be considered something akin to the medieval ages in which everything was controlled by the feudal lord or the church. North Korea is one of the most repressive of socialist countries and today it is ridiculous to call it socialist, as it has become a militaristic feudal state. Books published in this country are therefore all propaganda tools of dictator Kim Jong Il, published to control the masses at his whim. Kim Jong Il is the protagonist of Yong Saeng. If a North Korean wrote things about Kim Jong Il without his permission, he was likely to be slammed into a concentration camp or face execution. Kim Jong Il most likely instructed his propaganda writers to write these accounts, which means the real author is Kim Jong Il. Read the accounts in Yong Saeng with this in mind. As I had mentioned earlier, the Japanese Hakuhyosha translation had errors in important parts, so I translated them from the original text by myself. The book describes the seven months from the end of 1993 to July 20, 1994, when the Central Committee conference to mourn the death of Kim Il Sung was held. Being a novel, it is not all factual, but the book covers actual events from the U.S.-North Korean confrontation, the mediation by Carter, and Kim Il Sungs death. The accounts concerning the days before and after Kim Il Sungs death are curious.


Certain words from the original medical report were not included in the Yong Saeng version. The phrase the heart attack deteriorated was removed from the original text (Various treatments were performed immediately, but the heart attack deteriorated and Our Beloved Great Leader passed away at 2 am on July 8.) The date of the autopsy was also missing in the medical report given in the Yong Saeng text. The strange phrase - the heart attack deteriorated - was probably erased because it raised doubts. According to the original medical report, the autopsy was, at earliest, performed 22 hours after death at 2 am on July 8. In order to avoid generating suspicions as to what had happened to the body during those 22 hours, the date of the autopsy must have also been taken out from the original text. There are other suspicious points in the text. Descriptions in Yong Saeng are completely at odds with the medical conclusion. In the medical report, various treatments were performed on Kim Il Sung after his heart attack, suggesting several doctors had treated him. But in the Yong Saeng account, Kim Il Sung, feeling pain in his heart, died without any treatment all alone. This is how Yang Saeng describes the last moments of Kim Il Sung:
The dull pain (in the heart) grew worse. The lord12 was gripped by a foreboding that he would fall down and lose consciousness right there. Perhaps he feared that he would not be able to meet Comrade Kim Jong Il whom he had promised to meet the following day. Oh, if only! Why did our lord not feel that this was going to be a reality. If only somebody had been near the lord and discovered the already pale face of the lord. And yet, the lord was all alone. (pg 398)

The text is heavy with burdensome honorifics. After this, Kim Il Sung recalls in a mental haze that he had not yet signed the approval form to meet with the South Korean president. He struggles with pain and is overcome, drawing his last breath as thunder and lightning strike. Why didn't Kim Il Sung call a doctor or some aide-de-camp? In Yong Saeng, The lord did not want to awaken his aides who were so peacefully sleeping. The lord was always such a considerate leader. He did his work by enduring the pain alone. Kim Il Sung is described as the embodiment of love for the people. If he had died alone, one suspects that there were no doctors nearby. Or there were doctors but they could not be reached for some reason - perhaps the phones were not working. The whereabouts of doctors lies at the heart of the mystery of Kim Il Sungs death.

12 Kim Il Sung


Why were there no doctors?

Others have also claimed that there were no doctors around Kim Il Sung when he died. Han Dok Su, chairman of the Chosen Soren (General Association of Korean Residents in Japan), returned to Japan after attending the funeral of Kim Il Sung and wrote a report to the cadres of the Chosen Soren. Shigemura Tomomitsu (professor of Waseda University), editorial writer for the Mainichi Newspaper at the time, was able to acquire the summary of this report.
(July 6) Chairman Kim Il Sung headed to Myohyangsan villa in the afternoon. A problem arose, however. Usually, Chairman Kim Il Sung is accompanied by eight doctors wherever he travels, but this time only two doctors accompanied him. Moreover, the doctor responsible for monitoring his heart was absent. Perhaps, his aides and medical team had dropped their guard, seeing how Kim Il Sung had become so vigorous since his meeting with former U.S. President Carter. Chairman Kim Il Sung spent the 7th at the villa and in the afternoon complained about pains in his chest. He was not able to receive a diagnosis as the responsible doctor was not there. That evening, Chairman Kim Il Sung who had gone to the bathroom suddenly howled like a wounded tiger and fell. Pyongyang was immediately contacted and helicopters with doctors, nurses, and equipment were dispatched towards the villa. But bad luck compounded, and the area around the villa was struck by heavy rains and the helicopters were apparently unable to land. At the time, the flight of the helicopters was detected by South Korean surveillance. Three helicopters heading from Pyongyang to Myohyangsan villa were detected on their radar screens. The medical team, unable to land at Myohyangsan, retreated to Pyongyang and headed to the villa by car. The driver, who was ordered to arrive within two hours, drove too fast and drove the car off a cliff, killing all members of the medical team. (Zaidan hojin kasumiyamakai Toa, January 1995)

Chang Jun Won, a former North Korean television journalist for the Korean Central Broadcasting Service, defected to South Korea. He had written about Kim Il Sungs death in novel style in the North Korean exiles bulletin Bokyo (currently Dappokushatachi - Exiles from the North). I asked him about it when I met him in the autumn of 2003 in Seoul.
On the day of Kim Il Sungs death, there were doctors and nurses at Myohyangsan villa, but that afternoon, they had left to take a walk through the scenic area. They had been ordered to go out and see the scenery. The doctors were all gone. The aide-de-camp who realized this ran out and tried to stop them by firing three rounds from his pistol. By the time they had returned to the villa, Kim Il Sung had already breathed his last.

- Why do you know these details? Mr Chang answered. I had served for eight years in the Korean Peoples Army and had the rank of officer. My contacts in the military knew what had happened. This is information from them.


The national Korean Central Broadcasting is one of the key agencies in Kim Jong Ils propaganda team. A broadcasting journalist is a member of the elite in North Korea, and Mr Changs story has some veracity. In this account as with the others, the doctors are absent at the crucial moments of Kim Il Sungs death. The account in Yong Saeng, the testimony of Han Dok Su and that of Chang Jun Won differ in detail from each other, but one thing is common to the three: There were no doctors near Kim Il Sung when he died. In the medical report, various treatments were performed immediately on Kim Il Sung. But in Yong Saeng, the account was changed, Kim Il Sung died alone without receiving any treatment. Kim Jong Il was ultimately in charge of Kim Il Sungs health and held ultimate authority over the placement and arrangement of doctors for his father. In all three testimonies of Kim Il Sungs last day, the doctors were either absent or fewer than normal. Why and who had ordered this? Even the nave and trusting North Korean people must have become suspicions about the circumstances surrounding Kim Il Sungs death. Kim Jong Il, sensing these suspicions, must have ordered these passages in Yong Saeng to be written to quell these doubts. The main point made in the text was that Kim Il Sungs death was not the fault of the doctors and that modern medicine could have done nothing to help him. An interesting detail in the Yong Saeng account is the story surrounding the creation of the medical report. According to Yong Saeng, the three doctors of the medical team brought the original medical report to Kim Jong Il on the night of July 8th. Kim Jong Il looked through the report and threw an admonishing eye at the medical team. The doctors were trembling, feeling that they would be blamed for having allowed the Great Leader to pass away on account of their failings. They were expecting to be screamed at any moment. But Kim Jong Il wrote something on the original report and returned it to them. He had added - On account of repeated mental stress. These were not words of reprimand, but they were words showing that comrade Kim Jong Il had forgiven their shortcomings. The doctors were choked in tears for the Dear Leaders deep love, according to Yang Saeng. It is bizarre that somebody who is not a doctor could determine the cause of Kim Il Sungs death. But considering Kim Jong Il was a genius leader of omnipotent compassion, this was probably a piece of cake. Kim Jong Il explained that Chairman Kim Il Sung did not die from any illness, but from the mental stress and overwork of having to carry the weight of history and current events on his shoulders. According to Yong Saeng. Kim Jong Il forced the doctors who brought the medical report to remain standing, got out of his chair with a grieved expression, and walked slowly around the room, in deep reflection.
The people know very well that the Great Leader had led conferences with cadres of the Department of Economics in good health until July 6th. And they would know later that he had signed the text for the unification of the country late at night on July 7th. How could we, then, convince the people with


this medical report? They may hate and denounce these doctors who were unable to heal the Great Leaders illness. This medical report lacks the most important, most essential thing which must not be forgotten by history and must be passed down to our descendants forever.

Yong Saeng writes that Kim Jong Il was thinking this to himself as he paced the room. In fact, this was clearly written according to the instructions of Kim Jong Il. What then was the most essential thing that was lacking in the report? After considering various things, Kim Jong Il concluded the report lacked Kim Il Sungs long history of accomplishments. He said to the doctors,
The Great Leader bore history and the burden of our times on his shoulder which could not be and should not be shared by anybody. The Great Leader was forced to walk a life of struggle, carrying a burden which nobody could lessen. The Great Leader had passed away, ultimately, from repeated burdens and overwork. It was something that modern medicine could not do anything about. (pg 412)

It was Kim Jong Il who had written the medical report and it was Kim Jong Il also who had made the minor adjustments in Yong Saeng. Kim Jong Il had realized he could not convince the people that the Great Leader had died naturally from a heart attack after learning of their suspicions and rumors about Kim Il Sungs death. In Yong Saeng, Kim Jong Il admits to not being able to convince the public. But why would it have been necessary to convince the public if Kim Il Sung had indeed suffered a natural death from a heart attack? But Kim Jong Il was apparently driven to fabricate another cause of death and distort the last moments of his father. Kim Jong Il appears to be clearly frightened by something and desperately trying to defend himself. History will eventually spell out the truth of Kim Il Sungs death. But from an objective perspective, Kim Il Sung had to die on July 7th. 8 Kim Il Sung promoted thermal power a day before his death

Why did Kim Il Sung have to die on July 7th? This date is highly significant. I already mentioned how Kim Jong Il had been devastated after listening to the tapes of Kim Il Sungs speeches on the night of July 6th. He had been shocked to learn that Kim Il Sung was intending to receive aid from the South Korean president to carry out drastic economic reforms. Kim Jong Il was also shocked that night to hear about Kim Il Sungs position on power plants. Kim Il Sung had declared it more urgent to develop thermal power plants than nuclear power plants. He had forcibly argued to the economic cadres that a shortage of electricity meant low fertilizer production and severely hampered agriculture production. Kim Il Sungs argument was clear: Produce electricity whatever you do. Nuclear power plants take too long to construct. Since there is no electricity it is not even possible to dig out coal for the coal-generated thermal power plants. Thermal power plants using petroleum was the 62

fastest and surest way. Start up heavy oil-driven power plants) generate electricity, and from next year rebuild agriculture by producing 850,000 tons of fertilizer. In his plans, Kim Il Sung had even specified four locations to build the facilities. But Kim Jong Il clung to his plans of building light-water reactors and favoring the military. He needed to acquire the light-water reactors for developing nuclear weapons. It was even more convenient that the power plant would take ten years to build. During those ten years, Kim Jong Il intended to pretend to shut down the existing graphite moderated reactors and operate it clandestinely to accumulate the plutonium for a nuclear warhead. Fertilizer for the villages was unimportant. Those who were doomed to die could die. I suspect I would not be completely wrong to assume that Kim Jong Il may have been thinking along these lines. Events in North Korea actually developed in this way later. This was not the first time that father and son clashed over the choice of thermal or nuclear power. Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il had split opinions a year previously over this issue in 1993. Kim Il Sung had explicitly stated that a nuclear power plant would take too long to construct and was not suitable for economic development. This was from the concluding remarks of Kim Il Sungs speech given on December 8, 1993, at the 21st Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee:
If we are to resolve the shortage of electrical power in this country, we must put our strength into thermal power plants. Since it did not rain this year, it would be difficult to generate electricity to capacity at our hydro-electric power plants. It is therefore necessary to supply coal to our thermal power plants and run them at full capacity. We must concentrate our energies on the coal production department in order to secure the coal necessary for the full operation of the thermal power plants ... In order to definitively resolve this electricity problem, we must create new capacity. We can easily resolve the power shortage by constructing nuclear power plants, but this would take at least six and up to ten years to construct. We can not wait for so long to resolve the electricity problem. We must accelerate work on power plants, including the Kumgangsan power plant, which are now under construction and resolve the shortage of electrical power in this country. (Kin Nissei chossakushu, Kim Il Sungs Collected Works, Volume 44, pg 283)

In the same year, Kim Jong Il ordered his right-hand man, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kan Suk Ju to demand two light-water reactors in the second round of U.S.-North Korean negotiations between high-ranking officials in Geneva. This request came only moments after North Korea had paid the U.S. a favor by canceling its earlier decision to withdraw from the NPT (nuclear non-proliferation treaty). This has been Kim Jong Ils preferred strategy of heightening tensions to a step away from war, retreating from the showdown, and then cadging for compensation, Kim Il Sung had directly opposed Kim Jong Ils plans in the Central Committee Plenary Session by arguing that nuclear power plants were no good. The clash between father and son over nuclear and thermal power had already surfaced. At the time it was not evident whether the U.S. was going to actually provide the light-water reactors. This was also the period when Kim Jong Il borrowed Kim Il Sungs authority in a desperate 63

challenge against the U.S. The growing distance between father and son had not yet turned into a definite rift The deal struck by former U.S. president Carter in June 1994, however, changed the situation fundamentally. The light-water reactors which Kim Jong Il sought were now within reach. But Kim Il Sung was once again talking about thermal power. This was a blanket rejection of Kim Jong Ils plans. Kim Jong Il realized this after hearing the recorded tapes on the night of July 6. The second round of negotiations between high-ranking U.S. and North Korean officials ended on July 19, 1993. The technical teams of the two sides had frequently kept in contact in New York afterward. The third round of negotiations was to be held in Geneva on July 8, 1994. Kan Suk Ju, first foreign vice minister, was already in Geneva on the 7th. If Kim Il Sungs new instructions were to reach him, Kan Suk Ju may cancel the light-water reactor plan and shift to requesting a thermal reactor. Kim Il Sungs orders were absolute. Kim Jong Ils secret plans risked falling apart. There was not a day to lose. Kim Il Sung had to die on July 7th.


Chapter Four
Selective food supply distribution 1 Playing the natural disaster card

What do you mean, begging for food? I will not allow this kind of beggars diplomacy! Kim Il Sung had adamantly refused to allow Kim Jong Il to receive foreign food aid. With the sudden death of his father, however, Kim Jong Il was able to carry out his beggars diplomacy as if freed from some invisible leash. He rushed to introduce aid from overseas. This aid was not going to be in the form of foreign investments as North Korea did not have the necessary infrastructure, the social foundations, to attract foreign capital. Electricity and water supplies were inadequate and roads were narrow and unpaved, apart from those in Pyongyang. The surest and fastest way of bringing in foreign aid was by playing the famine card. North Korea was inundated by all forms of natural disasters including floods, drought, and hailstorms only after Kim Il Sungs death. There had also been natural disasters when Kim Il Sung was alive, but these natural calamities were never used to ask for food aid. Though a tragedy for the North Korean farmers and people who suffered these calamities, the natural disasters proved to be a godsend to Kim Jong Il. These natural disasters undoubtedly occurred, but they had been widely exaggerated. Kim Jong Il ordered the extent of these disasters to be overstated, according to a former North Korean government worker, Pak Myong Chol (pseudonym), who is now residing in Seoul. The South Korean government today is pursuing an appeasement policy, busy delivering money and rice to North Korea in its so-called Sunshine Policy. The South Korean authorities regulate all forms of criticism of North Korea publicly and privately, quieting critics by condemning them as trying to instigate a civil war. For this reason, the South Korean government has labeled me a holder of old-fashioned cold-war mentality and has shunned me. This was a complete turnabout from previous South Korean regimes. Mr Pak Myong Chol, who considered me a comrade and aided me in this adverse South Korean political climate, was therefore a very valuable source. He had fled Kim Jong Ils dictatorship and famine hell with the skin of his teeth, and had committed himself towards overthrowing Kims regime and unifying the country. In contrast to his stance, the South Korean government behaved like underlings of Kim Jong Il and avoided anything which could displease North Korea. It goes without saying that Pak Myong Chol will face difficulties just by meeting me. I can not thank him enough for his cooperation in these circumstances. Pak Myong Chol told me that Kim Jong Il had ordered statistics to be suitably processed and shown to international organizations so that massive amounts of food aid can be received for free. Processed was a euphemism for the fabrication of statistics. According to Mr Pak, Kim Jong Il said,


China, among other industrializing countries, has been using its natural disasters as a pretext to receive humanitarian aid from international organizations. There is no reason why our country cant do the same. Mr Pak gave me part of an old report which may not be of much help. But the report was from the mid-1990s, the period which I was investigating, and proved to be an invaluable document. The following is taken from this report:
The North Korean foreign ministry clearly recognized that Kim Jong Ils intentions differed from his fathers when he signed a proposal to accept international aid. In other words, Kim Jong Il was planning to use natural calamities as a pretext to demand aid. The plan was to actively engage in diplomacy to receive as much free aid as possible in the form of food, clothes, infrastructure materials, and medicine from the UNDHA, WFP, UNDP, UNICEF, FAO, IFAD, UNFPA, WHO, and other international organizations. The Department of International Organizations in the Foreign Ministry and the North Korean consulate in Italy played the central roles in this scheme. The basic role of the North Korean consulate was to focus on working and meeting with those responsible in the WFP, FAO, and IFAD once or twice a month. They were expected to explain the unique situation of the Korean Peninsula, inform the aid organizations about the North Korean food situation, influence them to respond positively to food aid requests, and eventually try to make them visit Pyongyang.

The godsend which Kim Jong Il had been waiting for arrived. The first was the extensive damage caused by the hailstorms of September 1994. According to a statement by the North Korean Foreign Ministry, as a result of excessive amounts of hail, 170,000 hectares of farm land in the main grain areas of South Hwanghae and North Hwanghae provinces had been damaged and over 1.2 million tons of grains had been lost. A great flood occurred next in August 1995. According to the North Korean statement, This was the greatest flood of the century. Over 2 million tons of rice and corn crops were lost, one million tons of stored grains had been washed away, and the damages amounted to 15 billion dollars. North Korean government offices responsible for foreign aid were suddenly bustling with activity. According to Pak Myong Chol,
The North Korean consulate in Italy met frequently with the officials of the WFP Asia Department and the FAO Early Warning Department They also met often with officials and observers who would be in charge when food supplies would be distributed and transported in North Korea. These meetings were held to make sure that when the aid officials visited Pyongyang, misunderstandings could be avoided between the Flood Damage Rehabilitation Committee (FDRC) and the workers from the various organizations. The meetings were also held in order to make aid organization officials follow the North Korean schedule as much as possible and accept the fabricated data supplied by them.

The North Korean side also engineered meetings with relevant officials from the embassies of the donor nations and explained tile effect of the natural disasters on the food situation of 66

North Korea. They also encouraged the embassies to write positive reports to their home countries so that they would respond to pleas from international aid organizations for funds to aid North Korea. This was not all.
They were also expected to impress upon the aid organizations North Koreas peculiar position. They were to make the aid organizations understand that the unique condition of the divided Korean Peninsula meant journalists and the use of satellite communications and helicopters were forbidden, Visits to the Northern areas which had special military installations were also forbidden, and observers and advisers who were U.S., South Korean, and Japanese nationals were not going to be accepted.

As a result of these various diplomatic maneuverings, food supplies started to pour in from various countries. This was what Kim Il Sung had called beggars diplomacy and had not permitted on account of his pride. The son apparently had no such concerns. Kim Jong Il was extremely pleased by these achievements and praised Kan Suk Ju, the foreign ministry first vice-minister highly. Kan Suk Ju was the man who had wangled two light-water reactors from the U.S. during nuclear negotiations in 1993 and 1994. He was also the only man who sat next to Kim Jong Il during his meeting with Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro on September 17, 2002. The report quoted above noted how Kan Suk Ju and those in the foreign ministry who were involved in the introduction of food aid were conferred with various honors from Kim Jong Il. Two or three people received the Order of the Workers Hero and five received the Order of Kim Il Sung, while another five were given watches engraved with Kim Jong Ils name and another ten gained the Workers Order. In all, over 300 people received commemorations and gifts, including the first class national flag order, in a splurge of largesse for their success in the international aid scheme. Approximately seven million people can eat for a year with the one million tons of food aid. That is a third of the North Korean population.13 If that much food aid had been received, there should have been no reason for famine, not to mention the 500,000 to one million people who died from starvation. I will explain this in more detail in Chapter Six. And yet, the mass starvations began just as food aid supplies were being brought into the country. Why? This has been my main question and this book is an answer to this mystery. How many starved during these years? Let us look at this data first. 2 The number of famine deaths

Hwang Jang Yop, one of the top cadres of the North Korean Workers Party who defected to South Korea, was among the first in giving the world specific numbers of starvation victims.
13 A daily allocation of 400 grams of grain amounts to 146 kilograms per year. One million tons of grain will feed 6.85 million people for one year.


On February 12th, 1997, Hwang Jang Yop applied for asylum in the South Korean embassy in Beijing. He arrived in Seoul on April 20th after taking temporary shelter in Manila. Hwang Jang Yop said at the time,
500,000 died from starvation in 1995, of which 50,000 were members of the Workers Party. One million more died from starvation by November of 1996. At this pace, another two million people are likely to starve to death in 1997.

In 1997, Hwang Jang Yop had predicted that a total of 3.5 million people had died from starvation. I was dumbfounded by the incredible numbers. I later became well-acquainted with Hwang Jang Yop and had a chance to translate his memoirs for Bungei Shunju in September of 1998. I met him after the translations were completed in December of 1998 at the KCIA headquarters in Seoul for an extended interview which was to be published together in The Memoirs of Hwang Jang Yop, Declaration of War against Kim Jong Il. During this interview, I sought to confirm the number of starvation deaths with Mr Hwang. Many critics in Japan and South Korea doubted Mr Hwangs numbers and considered them preposterously large. They claimed he had exaggerated the figures to be welcomed by the South Korean government and that the comments of exiles could generally not be trusted. I asked him frankly about these doubts surrounding his claim. Mr Hwang said the disbelief was natural because the number of people who had died from starvation was indeed incredible. He promised he would like to explain in more detail in his next work which he was preparing. His next book - Zoku - Kin shonichi he no sensen filkoku - Kvoken nz obieruna (Declaration of war on Kim Jong Il - Do Not Fear the Mad Dog) - was completed the following year and I was able to also translate it and have it published from Bungei Shunju in January 2001. He had written in detail about the conditions of famine in North Korea and how to deal with this situation. Mr Hwang gives the following explanation for the number of starvation deaths:
We were not spending our time in North Korea absent-mindedly. We had worked for many years in the highest general staff department and were able to see the most accurate statistics available for starvation deaths. These statistics were not unfounded rumors, but data which was directly reported to Kim Jong Il by cadres responsible in the Workers Party Central Committee Organization and Guidance Department. According to the Central Committee Secretary responsible for the munitions industry, food distribution to munitions factory workers was terminated for over nine months, leaving half of them unable to report to work and staying at home in bed. Even 2,000 of their most skilled laborers, the treasures of the munitions factory, had died. According to the secretary, emergency measures were taken against those whose bodies were beginning to bloat from starvation, but once these victims started to starve again and bodies bloat, there was no hope of curing them.


When the Central Committee secretaries researched national grain production in November 1996, the figure amounted to only 2.1 million tons for the year. Concerned about the food conditions, I asked cadres in the Organization and Guidance Department in charge of famine and food supplies about starvation conditions in mid-November. According to this cadre, over 500,000 people, including 50,000 party members, had died of starvation in 1995, and that in November of 1996, at least one million famine victims had been recorded. He added that only 2.1 million tons of grains were produced in 1996 and that if this continued, at least another 2 million people could die in 1997. The cadre responsible for the Organization and Guidance Committee can not and would not make inaccurate reports to the Central Committee secretaries. It is an undoubted fact that between 1995 and the end of 1996, 1.5 million people died from starvation. It is not possible to determine the situation between 1997 and 1998, but as it appears that the food situation did not greatly improve during the time, it is possible to assume that at least one million more people died of starvation per year during that time. (pg 83-84)

The headquarters of the Korean Buddhist Sharing Movement (executive committee chairman, Mr Pomryun) also calculated that 3.5 million people died from starvation during this period after conducting its own meticulous investigation. The figure tallies with that claimed by Hwang Jang Yop. A detailed report of its investigations was published in May 1999 titled Minzoku no kibo wo motomete (In Search of Hope for Our People) from the Korean publisher, Jyodo Shuppan. The following figures are taken from this book as well as other data released earlier by the Buddhist organization. The investigation was undertaken on six occasions between September 30, 1997, and September 15, 1998. A survey was carried out on 1,694 refugees who had fled North Korea in search of food into China. Including family members of these refugees, the total number of subjects amounted to 9,249 individuals. The organization had conducted a careful survey of this group to determine the number of individuals who had died from starvation or sickness as a result of malnourishment during the end of August 1995 when the great flood struck, to the end of July 1998. In addition, the survey included a wide range of other questions, including questions about when food distribution had been stopped, how families had managed their households during the food shortage, and causes for the famine. The findings in this investigation are invaluable, but it would require a whole book to present them, so I will concentrate on the figures which calculate the number of deaths from starvation. This investigation calculated a mortality rate of 28.7 percent. Of the North Korean population of 22 million, three million individuals of these are cadres of the Workers Party, members of the Ministry of Public Security, State Security Bureau (secret police), and military personnel. Another six million are farmers. These nine million individuals face little risk of starvation. The remaining 13 million individuals were those at most risk of starvation. 28.7 percent of 13 million is approximately 3.7 million people. Using the mortality rate offered by the


Buddhist group, over 3.7 million people theoretically died during the mass starvation in the three years after 1995. A total of 2,653 family members in the survey had died between the end of August 1995 and the end of July 1998. The percentages are given in the following table:
Year Number of deaths Percentage 1995 49 1.80% 1996 609 23.0% 1997 1,549 58.4% 1998 401 15.10% Unknown 45 1.7% Total 2,653 100.0%

This table reveals that the number of starvation deaths shot up from 1996 and further rose in 1997. By multiplying the percentages with 3.7 million, the estimated total of starvation deaths in North Korea, there were 67,000 deaths in 1995; 850,000 deaths in 1996; 2.16 million deaths in 1997; and 560,000 deaths in the first seven months of 1998. The reason that the figure is lower in 1995 is because the figure is based on the last four months of the year, from the end of August to the end of December. 850,000 deaths in 1996 roughly matches the figure (1 million) reported by the cadre in the Workers Party Organization and Guidance Department. The 2.16 million deaths in 1997 also eerily match the prediction by the North Korean cadre that two million people would starve to death at this rate. Another investigation was conducted by Johns Hopkins University, interviewing North Korean refugees at the Chinese border. Four public health researchers from the university carried out this investigation from July to September of 1998. They published a five page report entitled Starvation deaths among North Korean refugee families a retrospective study. Their report was based on a survey conducted with 440 North Korean refugee adults chosen at random living. in fifteen Chinese cities. They asked how many of their family members had died from July 1994 (the month Kim Il Sung died) to September of 1998. The researchers also charted the changes in the amounts of government food distribution and the coping mechanisms of different households. Though the data is valuable, the refugees interviewed were mostly from North Hamgyong (78 percent) and South Hamgyong (12 percent), which makes the data inadequate for determining the mortality rate of the whole country. But the fact that 90 percent of the refugees were from Hamgyong provinces, particularly North Hamgyong, is evidence of how the North Korean regime had taken a policy of abandoning this region. Number of deaths among North Korean refugee families (Johns Hopkins survey)
Year 1995 1996 1997 Total / Average Family (*) 1,732 1,665 1,570 Births 23 21 11 55 Birth rate 13.3 12.6 7.0 11.0 Deaths 50 76 88 214 Mortality rate 28.9 45.6 56.0 42.8

* Number of family members mid-way through the year


Unlike the other surveys, the researchers from Johns Hopkins University had also calculated birth rates along with mortality rates. The annual birth rate during 1990 to 1995 before the famines was 21.8 per 1,000. The birth rate fell to 11 per 1,000 during the famine periods of 1995 and 1997. This was a halving of the birth rate. In the meantime, the mortality rate in 1993 was 5.5 per 1,000 (the North Korean government conducted a population survey in 1993 with the help of the UNFPA). The mortality rate between 1995 and 1997 soared to 42.8 per 1,000 according to the findings of Johns Hopkins University: an eight-fold jump in the mortality rate. Johns Hopkins University calculates the population of North Hamgyong for 1993 as 2,060,725.14 The birth rate in 1993 was 21.8 per 1,000. In a province of 2,060,000 people, that amounts to 44,923 babies being born in one year. If there had been no famine during the three years from 1995 to 1998, 134,769 babies should have been born. In the meantime, the mortality rate in 1993 was 5.5. per 1,000, so 11,333 people should have died per year in the province, or 33,999 people in the province between 1995 and 1998. By subtracting the number of deaths from the number of births, the population should have increased naturally by 100,770. Without a famine, the population should have increased by 100,000, but in fact the population had decreased by nearly 200,000 people. This means that a total of 290,366 people died in North Hamgyong. This amounts to 14.4 percent of the population of this province. Incidentally, the number of starvation deaths in North Korea calculated by the South Korean government for these years was 270,000 people. 3 What the UN aid specialist witnessed

Over 730,000 tons of food aid had been sent by various countries to North Korea following the floods. There must have been a reason for starvations to occur in spite of the influx of this aid. Was the aid actually reaching the flood victims? Or was it being siphoned off in transit and used elsewhere? My suspicions were strengthened by a report which I came across in Washington written by an employee of the WFP who had entered North Korea in April of 1996 to monitor food distribution. Sue Lautze went to North Korea for two weeks to monitor the distribution of UN food aid and investigate flooded areas. She had been employed by OFDA, a part of USAlD, to monitor the food distribution of aid given by the WFP to North Korea. She had been sent to North Korea to determine the WFPs future activities in the country. She had lived in China in the late 1980s, worked for the WFP Beijing office, and was fluent in Chinese and an old hand in Asia. During the 1990s she had worked for drought relief in Sudan and was an experienced specialist all agriculture and famine.
14 I assume this is data provided by the North Korean government. The following morality rates and birth rates are also from the same source.


Ms Lautze was in North Korea between April 20 and May 4, 1996. She visited four provinces along the west coast, including South Pyongan and North Pyongan. In her visit, she took the unprecedented method of directly visiting private homes of North Korean families. Ms Lautze blended in with the locals by helping families carry food aid distributions to their homes. She then chose a random family to interview to prevent North Korean officials from monitoring or arranging answers to her questions. Once Ms Lautze settled on a family to interview, she demanded the North Korean minder to wait outside The minders accepted her requests grudgingly, according to her report. In North Korea, foreign observers were constantly placed under surveillance by a guide and fed staged performances and prearranged interviews. Without the determined tactics Ms Lautze took, it would have been very difficult to break through this system of propaganda. Japanese and other foreigners should learn from her example. She was dependent on a translator provided by the North Korean government, however, as she could not speak Korean. These government translators probably distorted her questions and any answers given by interviewed family members. Ms Lautze described the conditions of a family she visited in Chogu-ri, Unpa County of North Hwanghae in the following way.
Family members were Yang Su Bo (61 female), Li Gu Song (63, male), husband of Yang Su Bo - not present because he was working in the field - and two daughters in their twenties. Another son and wife live in town. The grandson prefers to live with grandma. The family was hit by a flash flood, with every member of the family, apart from the husband, being washed away into the river. There were no fatalities but it obviously scared them out of their wits. All were saved by military and civilians. Some students pulled the six-year old out of the water. The family lost everything but what they were wearing. Like their neighbors, their house was destroyed, and they lost all of their livestock and foodstuffs. This included about 500 kg of cereals (mostly rice, some maize and wheat), about 100 kg of potatoes and all other foods. Three grown pigs, one piglet, 21 chickens and four dogs (being raised for commercial purposes) drowned in the flood. The flood happened on 19 August. On 23 August, they received 45 kg of food, On 8 September, 45 kg of cereals. On 23 September, 33 kg of maize. On October 9, 27 kg of maize. 10 November 37.5 kg (half maize, half rice). December 54 kg, January 37 kg, February 37 kg, March 37 kg, April 37 kg. The family had just received 25 kg of WFP food (an apparent 5 kg/person ration) but when questioned, they added that they were expecting another 20 kg tomorrow. (NB: I suspect the translator influenced this answer.) Prior to the WFP distribution, household food availability equaled almost exactly 300 grams/person/day.

Ms Lautze does not write this in her report, but 300 grams is roughly three bowls of rice. In normal conditions, party cadres receive 800 grams per day while convicts in concentration are given 200 grams per day in the strictly hierarchical distribution system. 300 grams per day is slightly better than a convicts diet.


The family was not able to fill their stomachs on such a meager distribution of food and augmented their foods with naengi, tallae, spinach, and chock, according to Ms Lautzes interview with the family.
This chock (is) a large and bitter root that they peel, pound, dry and form a porridge. They know it has low nutritional value but use it to fill their stomachs. When asked, they told me that the last time they had consumed this wild edible root was in 1951.

This sort of supplementary food was eaten in other households which Ms Lautze visited. She visited another family in San Dong Ri, Uiju County, with two children, aged nine months and four years. She was shown a metal bowl in the kitchen partially filled with naengi and approximately 20 grains of rice. She draws attention to the fact that it was not 20 grams, but 20 grains of rice. This was to be the evening meal for the family. Sue Lautze also records an interview with a household in Onjon-ri, Kosong County in Kangwon-do. The family consisted of the husband, 57 years old, his wife, 55 years old, and their mother who was over 70. On the day of her visit, the household had received a total of five kg of Caritas (Catholic association aid) rice. The North Korean government had agreed with the WFP to distribute nine kilograms of rice per person. The family should therefore have been receiving 27 kilograms of rice. Ms Lautze asked the FDRC officials why the family had so little rice.
When asked, the county FDRC official explained that each family actually received 7 kg per person because the remainder of the food (which they had seen in the storehouse earlier that day) had only arrived last night. As elsewhere, however, the beneficiaries had signed for their full 9 kg/person ration. NB: The officials response to my question did not explain why the household I interviewed only received 5 kg of rice.)

This was Ms Lautzes first visit to North Korea. As an individual highly experienced in the field of humanitarian aid, Ms Lautze knew the suffering of famine and natural disaster victims. She began to sense that something else was going on with aid distribution in North Korea. She found it suspicious that the aid was being distributed just as she visited areas. Oftentimes, officials were distributing less than the amount agreed between the North Korean authorities and the WFP (9 kg/person). During the interviews, villagers responded in answers that seemed prearranged and translators seemed to be influencing responses. When Ms Lautze asked why the stipulated rations were not being distributed and FDRC officials stonewalled, Ms Lautze realized, though she did not write so explicitly, that the government was clearly appropriating some of the food supplies. Ms Lautze was able to acquire six pages of detailed tables which show the amounts of food aid distributed to different regions of North Korea. In her careful tone, Ms Lautze describes the difficulty for her and her staff to acquire this data. But a significant fact emerges from this list.


Discriminatory distribution of food aid

The six pages of tables which Sue Lautze made public were included in the annex of her final report An assessment of food aid in North Korea. The report presented the conclusions of her investigations and the attached annex included the data which led her to these conclusions. I will focus on Annex V, An analysis of distribution plans by WFP and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. I have reproduced the tables with Ms Lautzes permission and have uploaded the full text on my home page ( Please read the full text here if you are interested. The tables of Annex V can be viewed at as well. Ms Lautze wanted to find out which North Korean regions received how much of the WFP food aid which was unloaded at Nampo harbor on three different occasions between November 1995 and May 1996. In Table A (Distribution Conditions for Chagang Province), the total food aid for the province is 7,400 tons. What becomes immediately clear is the inequality of distribution. Let us look at Huichon City, the biggest city in Chagang. The flood-affected population of this city is 167,000 or 16.62 percent of the total flood affected population of Chagang. Despite having only 17 percent of the total flood-affected population, the city received 612 tons or 47 percent of the 1,300 tons of food aid unloaded by the first ship. From the second ship, the city received 20 percent or 720 tons of food aid. And from the third ship, the city received 776.5 tons or 31 percent of the total food aid for the province. A city with 17 percent of the flood-affected population was given 30 percent to over half of the total food aid for the province. Kanggye City is also a large North Korean city which had 100,000 flood victims (roughly 10 percent of the total flood affected population in the province). In this city as well, the victims received 12 percent of total aid in the first ship; 13 percent in the second ship; and 12.4 percent in the third ship. Table B (Food Distribution in North Hwanghae Province) illustrates the same trends as Table A. Unpa had been given between 22 and 24 percent of the total food aid, despite comprising only 13 percent of the total population affected by the floods. Let us look at Table C (Food Distribution in North Pyongyang). Siniuju, a large city bordering China, had a flood-affected population of 330,000 (16 percent of the total flood affected population in the province). Siniuju received 1,288 tons or 50.7 percent of the food aid and roughly the same amount in the second ship. In the third ship, it received 918 tons or 22.8 percent. As in Changan province, large cities were once again overwhelmingly favored.


Ms Lautze had also demanded that the North Korean authorities release data for North Pyongan and received: Table D (Ten Major Agricultural Regions), Table E (Three Marginal Agricultural Areas) and Table F (Eight Great Disaster Areas). Ms Lautze comments on Table D (Ten Major Agricultural Regions):
In North Pyongan, nearly 41 percent of all flood victims live in areas of agriculture importance, yet these populations have never claimed a proportionate share of the relief food distributed, receiving 20 percent from the first ship, 38 percent from the second ship and 33 percent from the third. It appears that officials in North Pyongan are not prioritizing flood victims in rural areas to receive relief food. I assume that similar analysis for other areas would yield similar findings.

Ms Lautze comments on Table F (Eight Great Disaster Areas):

Fifty-two percent of the flood-affected population lives in the eight worst-affected counties/cities, yet these populations (with the important exception of Siniuju) generally do not receive substantial quantities of the relief food distributed in North Pyongan. Excluding Sariwon City (authors note: it should be Siniuju), thirty-five percent of the flood-affected population live in these areas and received 21 percent, 41 percent, and 29 percent of the relief food from the first, second and third ships, respectively.15 Flood victims in the worst-affected areas are no more likely to receive food than victims living in other areas.

Though this is complicated, it is necessary to add some explanatory notes to these tables. The percentages given in Table C and Table F are all mistakenly calculated. For example, Table C calculates that Pakchon received 3.5 percent of the food aid from the first ship, while it is changed to 4.89 percent in Table F. Similarly, Nyongbyons 3.4 percent is changed to 4.7 percent and Kuchangs 5.2 percent is shifted to 7.3 percent. In the second shipment of aid, Kuchange had received 9.0 percent of all aid according to Table C, but this figure jumps up to 17.14 percent in Table F. This was the reason why Ms Lautze had calculated the percentages of total allocation to the eight major disaster areas, excluding Siniuju from the first to the third ship as being 21 percent, 41 percent and 21.32 percent, respectively. But in Table F, the figures have jumped to 27.92 percent, 77.13 percent, and 48.23 percent. In other words, Table F has been doctored to appear as if the worst-affected disaster areas had received large amounts of food aid. Of the six tables, Tables A, B, and C were submitted by the North Korean authorities after strong pressure from Ms Lautze, while Tables D, E, and F were submitted by the local authorities in North Pyongan.

15 Ms Lautze miscalculated the percentages for the third ship. The correct number is 21.32 percent. This is calculated by adding up the percentage of food aid received as a total of the region in the eight major disaster areas, excluding Siniuju.


It is clear that the authorities in North Pyongan were ordered by their superiors to submit this data. Apparently this must have been their first experience of compiling such data as it was clearly done in haste. Most of the figures are rounded-off estimates and suggest that they are approximate figures. The three tables presented by the central government are not necessarily any more accurate. In Annex V, Ms Lautze comments that in many cases, the total flood affected population is simply the total population of the county or city. This means that the slipshod calculations counted all residents of a city or country as flood victims. In other words, the North Korean authorities had not undertaken serious investigation into the number of flood victims. I had already mentioned how North Korean authorities took a strategy of overstating the number of flood victims and exaggerating the damage caused by the floods in order to receive more food aid. The authorities did not intend to disclose accurate data from the onset and so figures are inevitably inaccurate and do not tally up. Accepting that the figures in the tables were cooked by North Korea, one can still discern a number of significant trends by a careful study of the figures. As there is always some truth in every propaganda, these documents also provide some insight. The crux of the matter is how the food supplies were distributed to the flood victims. Those in worst-affected areas should have been first to receive food aid. Flood victims in agricultural areas should also have been prioritized if the government intended to rehabilitate fanning villages and return them to normal conditions to secure the next harvest. This would have been the logical way of doing things, as Ms Lautze believed, but in fact, this was not how the food was distributed.
Since the most-seriously flood affected or the most important agriculture areas are not receiving special priority, who is? Flood victims living in or near urban areas are more likely to receive food than flood victims in rural areas.

The priority was clearly not flood victims, but residents of large cities where the core class loyal to Kim Jong Il, as well as numerous Workers Party members and cadres, were living. The urban areas are also important industrial centers. The North Korean government had ignored the flood victims and directly passed on the food supplies to these areas. Ms Lautze persisted in questioning the North Korean authorities on this point.
Despite my repeated questions, I was unable to determine the methodology behind the DPRKs selection criteria. With such limited relief food supplies, which victims were selected to receive relief food, how and why? ... these important questions remained unanswered.

Ms Lautze was slowly realizing that something essential was being hidden by the North Korean authorities. The iron rule of international humanitarian aid is to give disaster victims first priority. Investigations for humanitarian aid, before anything, begin by determining where the disaster victims are located. This can be made as plain as day by conducting a 76

nutrition survey. Such a survey makes immediately clear which regions and which age groups are malnourished or starving. Yet the North Korean authorities not only prohibited such nutrition surveys, but also actively blocked them. Ms Lautze writes in her report from August 1996:
A forthcoming WFP nutrition assessment will underscore the extent of nationwide food shortages but cannot be used to target the most vulnerable of flood-affected victims. WFP is currently limited to visiting areas only after relief food arrives, further hindering its ability to identify and target those it considers the most vulnerable.

Ms Lautze uses the phrase vulnerable people in her report. Vulnerable is a key word which I will explain further in the next chapter. At the time, Ms Lautze used the word in a general sense, describing victims who had lost their belongings, homes, and food in the floods and could no longer support themselves. But Ms Lautze eventually comes to vaguely realize that these vulnerable people were not just flood victims, but people in specific regions created by government policy.
The most vulnerable people live in regions which WFP aid workers can not approach. It is natural to assume that these kinds of people are particularly found in the mountainous regions of northern North Korea.

What exactly did vulnerable signify? 5 Vulnerable people

The English word vulnerable, used by Ms Lautze, is an adjective, and is the root of the the noun vulnerability. This is a difficult word to translate into Japanese. According to my English-Japanese dictionary, vulnerable is defined as something that is weak, easily hurt physically or emotionally, undefended, easily criticized, among other things. None of them seem to capture the nuance quite right. I decided to use the Japanese word moroi to describe these people. Moroi refers, first of all, to economic vulnerability. The flood victims had lost everything and did not even have food to eat tomorrow. They were placed in a very vulnerable position in terms of survival. Ms Lautze visited the disaster areas between the end of April and the beginning of May 1996 to determine if these people were receiving food aid. She was permitted to visit four of North Koreas nine provinces. Being a socialist country, all citizens should theoretically be equal. But this was not the case. Ms Lautze discovered flood victims who were unlikely to survive until the autumn harvest along with others who had hoarded up enough food to survive for a few years. In either case, Ms Lautze challenged the North Korean authorities with the basic principle of international humanitarian aid: Worst-affected victims are prioritized. But her pleas were blocked by North Korean regulations and interference. Behind this thick and sturdy wall lived the vulnerable people of North Korea who inhabit the northeastern mountainous regions of South and North Hamgyong provinces. 77

The mountains of the Nangnim Range, standing over 2,000 meters above sea-level, traverse the northern and southern provinces like the backbone of the Korean peninsula. On the eastern side of the Nangnim Range is the East Sea16. With few arable plains, this region has been a barren land, unsuitable for fanning, since ancient times. Ms Lautze soon learned from local WFP workers that the vulnerable people were forced to live in these regions. She suspected that the people in those regions, more than the flood victims, were the ones requiring the most aid. She was absolutely forbidden, however, to approach the area. Not a single UN or NGO worker had managed to visit the region. In the meantime, food aid supplies were being distributed selectively to favor residents of urban areas. She demanded with persistence from the North Korean authorities the basis for this selective process, but they told her nothing. Coupled with the existence of vulnerable people in the mountainous regions of the northeast, Ms Lautzes questions only multiplied. I reread Ms Lautzes two reports and annex, translated them into Japanese and then reread them again in English and then in Japanese and then once again in English. I had spent ten days wrestling with her reports. I was struck, suddenly, with parallels to the Japanese buraku pariah class. The phrases vulnerable people and vulnerable areas could be perfectly replaced with buraku people or un-liberated areas (buraku ghettos). In my youth, I joined a local cell of the Japanese Communist Party during the 1950s for an area which included a buraku ghetto, and at one point, became even a cell leader. The name un-liberated area was a left-wing term, and today we call these areas dowa chiku (social integration areas). I will refer to this area with the name from the time. Approximately 1,200 people lived in this area which spread out on the northern bank of a major river. The residents were forced to live within a certain zone, delineated by a certain street, and had to find work and marry only those within this ghetto. Facing the harsh discrimination of the outside society, it was difficult for the burakumin to find work. Their lives were unstable and the unemployed were often hanging around, drinking shochu in the middle of the day. Since the foundations of their livelihoods were so unstable, parents neglected their children. Many of these became delinquents who did not attend school. A graduate of a night-time high school was the most highly educated person in the neighborhood at the time. Roads were narrow and windy, making it impossible for fire trucks to enter. Since the area was just below the riverbank, drainage was poor and the air constantly humid. When the river levels rose, sandbags had to be piled up immediately by the bank to prevent floods. Those in the other neighborhoods can sleep soundly thanks to us, they would say. The Japanese Communist Party was, compared to today, very well-integrated with the lives of poor people in the 1950s and 60s and strongly supported by the buraku people. I explained the party platform and regulations to a young buraku man who had joined the party. Thirty years have passed since I sat across a tiny desk with him in a small room in the ghetto. This young man has grown up to become a nationally renowned buraku and labor activist and a
16 Also known as the Japan Sea.


respected cadre. His name is Ikeo Takeshi. His mother collected junk to recycle, pulling a two-wheeled cart with her firm step despite her small figure. I remember how she encouraged me when I became a journalist for the Akahata newspaper. I witnessed much unspoken discrimination there. The buraku people were not given the basic human right to work; driven to joblessness and poverty; and stripped of human dignity. I felt that the broader capitalist society used this discrimination as a tool to control society. How could I permit such injustice to continue? I had also been forced to quit high school due to poverty and at the time, was struggling for a chance to gain an education. My heart fills with emotion when I recall the mottoes hanging on a banner in the areas community center taken from the Suiheisha Declaration: Our proud human blood still runs in our veins even in this nightmarish darkness as they spit scorn upon us. May there be warmth in society and light in humanity! I have digressed from Ms Lautzes report, but this North Korean discriminatory system which Ms Lautze suspected without fully comprehending has parallels to Japans buraku discrimination. Seen in these terms, the phenomena which Ms Lautze witnessed and suspected make more sense. North Korea carries out extremely discriminatory policies as national policy, incomparably worse than the discrimination against the buraku in Japan. In order to hide this secret from the outside world, the authorities carry out a variety of measures to veil the truth. As I have mentioned earlier, North Korea is divided into the core class (20 percent of the population) loyal to the Kim family at the top; a wavering class (60 percent of the population); and the hostile class at the bottom (20 percent). This hostile class is oppressed, discriminated, and under constant surveillance as enemies. The members of this class are forced to work in hard labor divisions such as mines and coal pits, unable to marry outside of their class. Even if they did marry somebody from the core class, their spouse would be immediately demoted to the hostile class. I will present the testimony of individuals with such an experience in section five of Chapter Six. However well they perform at school, members of the hostile class are not permitted to pursue a higher education, join the Peoples Army, or become members of the Workers Party. They are mostly required to reside in the northeastern regions. Since all residents of North Korea neither have the right to choose their dwelling or the freedom to move around the country, members of the hostile class can never escape this area. By creating this pariah class, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il encouraged constant class struggle and tension to control the masses. The loyalty of the core classes was secured by rewarding them with special ration distributions and treating them as elites. The Korean returnees from Japan who were sweet-talked by Pyongyang and Chosen Soren and traveled back to North Korea in the 1960s were among the most vulnerable of people. These despised people were neither to be approached nor even acknowledged. When I was sent to Pyongyang as a correspondent for Akahata in 1972, I knew even less than Ms Lautze


and brazenly attempted to contact these returnees. Soon enough, I had angered the North Korean authorities and was nearly killed.17 You're exaggerating to say that you were about to be killed, my Japanese friends said when I told them that the North Korean authorities attempted to kill me. For most of us who live in a normal county, North Korea is truly an unimaginable place. But even recently a Canadian photographer escaped the country by the skin of her teeth. Hillary McKenzie was hired by the WFP for two months from June of 1997 and entered North Korea. She managed to take photographs of starvation conditions, and her brave actions led to many graphic photographs of starvation. She entered the country officially under the guarantee of WFP and worked under the North Korean governments permission. But as the North Korean authorities later told Andrew Natsios in The Great Korean Famine, They were thinking about executing her as a spy. (pg 298) They were not to be seen, not to be approached, and not to be acknowledged: These were the four to five million members of the hostile class against which Kim Jong Il waged a class struggle Ms Lautze continued her investigations into the vulnerable people of the vulnerable areas. 6 Selective food supply distribution

There are critical gaps in information about the socioeconomic, political and geographic distribution of suffering in North Korea. These include very limited access to areas known to be inhabited by politically or economically marginalized and vulnerable groups. There were certain areas inhabited by vulnerable people. No one goes in and out of these areas and no information comes out. Some grave secret was apparently kept hidden here. UN worker Sue Lautze began to discern a pattern hidden in the veil of secrecy. Ms Lautze wrote another report The Famine in North Korea: Humanitarian Responses in Communist Nations a year after her monitoring trip to North Korea between April and May 1996. Throughout the report, she details Kim Jong Ils methods of deception and asks what could be done to counter his ploys. The following is taken from this report: Between 40 and 100 UN and NGO workers affiliated with food aid were stationed in North Korea at the time. All of them, including Ms Lautze, were at first hopeful that the goals of their aid program were consistent with those of the North Korean authorities. They did not doubt that the food aid distributed in North Korea would go to those in most need.
The first is that the priorities and policies of the DPRK Government can be made consistent with those of the humanitarian community, e.g. targeting of the most vulnerable, useful access to areas where

17 For more details, read my book Kitachosen ni kieta tomo to watashi no monogatari, The Story of My Friends and Myself who were Lost in North Korea.


food is being distributed, free access to areas suspected to be affected by food shortages not directly related to the flood, etc.

Yet, their hopes were dashed as suspicious behavior of the North Korean authorities multiplied, I had already described this in section three and four of this chapter, but essentially these were suspicions that the aid was being selectively distributed without reaching the disaster victims. Ms Lautze added,
To further complicate the matter, external agencies have yet to successfully understand the DPRKs system of beneficiary identification.

In other words, she was referring to the class structure of elements which dominated North Korea. The elements refers to the political classes which divide the population into three large categories the hostile, wavering, and core class and a further 51 subcategories. The individuals class status determines the quality and quantity of his food distribution (including detailed regulations about how much of his ration would be in rice or other grains). In addition, political class determines an individuals residence, job, education and marriage in a thoroughly discriminatory system which regulates every aspect of a North Koreans life, An individual labeled in the bottom hostile class will not be allowed to live in any city, let alone Pyongyang, and will be pushed into the mountainous hinterlands for the rest of his life. It is not possible to understand North Korea without understanding this political class structure. But this fact has been kept well hidden from the outside world, I realized the existence of this system only after some time as a correspondent in the country in 1972. It is not surprising that a UN worker who had gone to North Korea for the first time as a food aid worker was unaware of the existence of such a class system. North Koreas thoroughly discriminatory policy of favoring certain classes soon clashed with the WFPs activities.
During 1995 a rather straight-forward (albeit insufficient) natural disaster emergency response was tolerated by all concerned governments. However, the nature of the crisis has changed markedly. Although quietly acknowledged as a political-economic crisis, humanitarian assistance is still provided under the guise of flood relief. For example, the Flood Damage Rehabilitation Committee (FDRC) is still the main point of contact for relief agencies, while access to line ministries has been limited.

Ms Lautzes report is mostly written in cautious terms, but here she uses the word guise a forceful and notable exception. Ms Lautze then issues a grave warning:
The famine in North Korea is no longer solely a natural disaster and requires a more strategic humanitarian framework for monitoring, reporting, logistics, standards, and coordination. Failure to change the context of relief operations from a natural disaster to a political/economic emergency will result in inadequate access and assistance for vulnerable populations in North Korea.

Ms Lautze was most concerned with the existence of these vulnerable people. The iron rule of international humanitarian agencies is to aid those most in need. The situation in North 81

Korea had deteriorated to a point where aiding the population on the pretext that they were flood victims was simply inadequate. The problems in North Korea were the result of a social, economic, and political emergency, and not just a limited natural disaster. Aid operations need to be carried out with this in mind, but the North Korean authorities continued to demand aid in the guise of flood relief. Ms Lautzes 1997 report is full of a premonition that something terrible would happen to the vulnerable people unless aid was redirected in their way.
There are reports that the DPRK government has stopped providing food through the PDS (Public Distribution System) to marginalized regions... Those areas without economic resources or political capital seem to have been left to fend for themselves. In one sense, this is understandable, given the extent of economic collapse and widespread demands for limited quantities of relief assistance. However, the DPRKs insistence on maintaining a full army and providing for the population of Pyongyang and other important areas at the expense of those who are suffering, diminishes this argument considerably.

When I met Ms Lautze in Boston, I asked her if there was any pressure from the U.S. State Department which made her write: in a sense, it is understandable that food distribution had been stopped to the vulnerable regions. She flatly denied any such pressure. All my opinions are my own, and I do not change my thoughts because of outside pressure. And then she pointed to the following passage, saying it is written clearly here ... She clearly states in her essay that the North Korean regime insisted on directing its food supplies so that it could maintain its military and urban population at the expense of the flood victims.
... the bulk of North Koreas human and productive resources has been redirected to the maintenance of one of the worlds largest armies... With vast resources invested in its military capacity, North Korea has lost potential agricultural production, industrial output, exports, trade, and political relations that might have provided adequate means to avert or address the current famine. In order to ensure social order and national security, military units were least affected by the famines... The preferential treatment of the North Korean military has been well documented.

She lamented that under such national policies, there was little she could do as an individual in North Korea.
The few humanitarian agencies with superior access to vulnerable populations are extremely reluctant to publicly disclose famine-related information for fear of losing access to these populations .... the sheer value realized by the access and presence of UN agencies, donor observers, private foundations, and NGOs should not be underestimated. However current limitations on presence and access are having negative impacts on the prospects for survival of vulnerable populations in North Korea.

She then asked if the international community should play into the hands of the North Korean authorities and allow a policy which permits the vulnerable people in the abandoned areas to starve helplessly. North Korea had played the natural disaster card, wangled food aid in the form of flood relief., and distributed it to the military. and privileged classes. The vulnerable 82

people inhabiting certain regions were given none of the aid. Ms Lautze became aware of this fact by actually setting foot into North Korea. After learning of this massive deception and sleight of hand, Ms Lautze spent a year to mull over her findings and reached the following conclusions:
This paper has argued that it is not a question of whether or not to provide aid to North Korea. Rather, it has sought to underscore the serious challenges that are complicating the effective provision of relief assistance. It is more than a matter of simply providing massive donations of food and medicine, although these are, of course, badly needed. Fully understanding the political nature of this emergency is essential as well.

I interpret the serious challenges as the difficult conditions created by Kim Jong Ils deception of seeking aid in the guise of flood relief to distribute to the military and privileged classes while abandoning the vulnerable people of certain regions. I realize there may be differing interpretations and opinions of Ms Lautzes reports. I have included the original titles at the end of the book and welcome criticism from my readers. Ms Lautze explains the folly of continuing to send food aid to North Korea without recognizing Kim Jong Ils deception.
Providing more relief assistance into a system that is logistically and politically incapable of reaching vulnerable areas will be at best, ineffective, and at worse, harmful.

What, then, must be done? Ms Lautze writes.

It is possible that the DPRK will assign relief organizations to concentrate their efforts in these selected and privileged areas. If this happens, this will further delimit the access of relief organizations to economically and/or politically marginalized populations. To the extent possible, relief organizations should coordinate their efforts and compare their information about populations they have accessed and been permitted to serve, in order that limited relief supplies are targeted to those who are most vulnerable ... The more astutely these issues are addressed today, the greater the chance of surviving this year will be for vulnerable people living in North Korea ...

This report evinces anger at the discriminatory policy against the vulnerable people living in the northeast of North Korea. It was also an appeal to save the millions of precarious lives faced by famine which were like the flames of so many candles before a rising wind. The powers of observation of this American specialist and her ability to so keenly predict the approaching storm are truly impressive. 7 Meeting Sue Lautze

It was literally in the nick of time that I was able to meet Sue Lautze in Boston. I met her on September 10, 2004, only a day before she was to leave for London for a year. I learned that 83

Ms Lautze had returned from seven months of fieldwork to the U.S. on September 8. The first galley for my book was already published. I had used the six pages of tables which Ms Lautze had acquired from North Korean authorities. The editor said that unless I could get the authors permission, they would not be able to use the tables in the book. Without these tables, an important leg of my argument would be lost. I had already translated them and was worried that all the work had been in vain. I called the department office of Ms Lautze at Tufts University, located outside of Boston in the east coast of the U.S. It was an answering machine since February, but this time a young womans voice came on the other end. I told her that I would not be able to publish my book without Ms Lautzes permission to quote her work. It would be a disaster not just for me but for my publisher. I said I would like to go over and meet Ms Lautze. The young woman said that this would not be possible since Ms Lautze planned to go to England the following Saturday for a year. I had only two more days in the U.S. I asked if she could contact Ms Lautze and send me an answer. She was a friendly woman and perhaps my desperate plea reached her. She promised that she would inform Ms Lautze as she planned to meet her the following day. But I was still nervous. There was no guarantee that Ms Lautze would give me an answer if I simply waited. Seven months had already past. I knew she was back in the country and was currently in Boston. I was in Washington DC, only an hour and a half away from Boston by plane. Asking permission from her in person was the most certain way. I reserved a ticket to Boston on the 10th, a day before her departure to England. I was sure Ms Lautze would come to the university on this day to take care of any work before leaving. The following morning, I read an email which Ms Lautze had sent permitting me to quote her work. The young woman on the phone had asked her as she had promised. How many times had I emailed her to get this response! Now I had the permission to quote her work and the publisher can print the book. I relaxed. I canceled my flight to Boston and took a nap on my mattress. As I was nodding off, an international FedEx arrived from my publisher. It was the corrected galley of Ms Lautzes six pages of tables. The proof-reader had found errors in two of the tables and the editor had scrawled red and blue corrections all over the paper which made my head spin. I looked at the table once again. I was impressed that Ms Lautze was able to obtain such internal information from the closed North Korean regime in just a two-week investigation. This would not have been possible without cooperation of higher-ranking officials in the regime and she probably had some special talent for investigative work. I decided I should go to Boston after all to thank her in appreciation of her work. There was also probably some merit in describing a meeting with her in the book. After discussing it with my editor, I was strongly encouraged to go.


I had first tried to contact Ms Lautze in February 2004 by email. I had asked her permission to quote and use her two reports and the annexes which I had translated. She responded immediately, saying how pleased and honored she was that I was taking the time to translate her reports. My editors said this was not enough of an answer to be considered a formal permission to quote her work. After this, I had lost all contact. However many emails I sent, I received no responses. I suspected that somebody was blocking her from contacting me or she was avoiding me. If you write critically about North Korea and unveil their secrets, you can always expect some kind of persecution. Or perhaps Ms Lautze suspected that I was a North Korean agent myself. It was understandable, considering I had contacted her out of the blue without any introduction. I have had this experience earlier with a Venezuelan poet named Ali Lameda. He was a Venezuelan communist party member who had been invited by the North Korean government to translate Kim Jong Ils works into Spanish and had lived in Pyongyang. He was later charged with spying and given a 20-year jail sentence. After serving seven years in prison, he was released thanks to the efforts of the Venezuelan president and later publicized the inhumane conditions of North Korean prisons. I had gone all the way to Venezuela to meet Mr Lameda in August of 1990. I had been promised by Lamedas relatives that I would be able to meet him. But when I arrived in Caracas from Washington, I was told that he had suddenly left for Greece the previous day. It must have been fear. He must have thought that an Asian coming all the way to meet him in Venezuela could only be a North Korean agent. Since Mr Lameda passed away in 1995 there was no way for me to confirm this theory, however. I also had experienced a number of bizarre incidents in Washington. I had contacted a North Korean specialist at a certain think tank and had set up an appointment. When the time came, I was told that he had caught a sudden cold and was unable to come. My background history must have been passed around by certain authorities in the U.S. This time, however, I had no reason to worry. I flew to Boston that day with a printed page of Ms Lautzes email. I called the university department at eight in the morning as the university opened and said I would be coming around noon. The middle-aged man who took my call kindly told me that it was about 15 dollars by taxi from the airport. Ms Lautzes office was in the second floor of an old wooden house in the Tufts University Campus located in Medford, just outside of Boston. It seemed to be a rather small and humble building for the Feinstein International Famine Center. Ms Lautze came briskly up a wooden staircase like those found in old Western movies wearing slip-on sandals. She seemed young, despite some slivers of gray in her hair. She was probably in her early forties. My first impression of her was that of a commander in a battle field. She had boyishly cropped hair and the firm features of an athlete. Despite her casual earrings, she had the visage of a commander who was unlikely to be perturbed by minor inconveniences. 85

Without preamble, she welcomed me to a small conference room which had a collection of rough chairs for about twenty people. There was also a whiteboard, probably used in classes and seminars. We haven't cleaned up after having a barbecue party last night here ... she said, pushing away some tables and offering me a chair. She had an unadorned way about her. Her actions reminded me about how she had helped North Korean families bring back food rations to their home and how she had rapidly established rapport with the locals. I realized there was little time and took out the color copies of the galley versions of the six tables which she had given me permission to use. Taking one look, she exclaimed: Wow! This was the expression of surprise often used by Americans. She was surprised by the numerous corrections scrawled in red and blue ink over the tables. I thanked her for allowing me to reproduce the valuable tables. I also thanked her research which made clear that foreign food aid was not reaching victims in most need, but being directed to those in the privileged classes. I was also grateful for her work in revealing the existence of the vulnerable people in vulnerable areas and the North Korean discrimination against the Hamgyong provinces. I asked her if she could spare me ten minutes of her precious time before her departure. She said that she had time, and so I asked, first of all, how she had acquired those tables. Who cooperated? It must have been difficult to access this information without the permission of a cadre considerably high up in the chain of command, considering my own experience in North Korea. Thats right, she said. She did not disclose her source, but admitted that she had the help of a high-ranking North Korean official. As I had imagined from reading her report, she seemed to have the kind of charisma which could make others help her. Whatever the regime, there is always the possibility of an emotional connection. Perhaps the North Korean official was impressed by Ms Lautzes passion for her work. It was not a forced charisma either: I sensed an untouchable dignity capable of making the impossible possible. Ms Lautze exclaimed Wow! once again when I described my own North Korean experience. When I told her I had been kicked out of the country on spy charges after a year as a correspondent in Pyongyang, she listened with much interest. She said,
I was also suspected as working for the U.S. government by the North Korean government. I work independently and am not affiliated with any country. I had gone as a UN investigator, but since they harbored such suspicions, I faced many obstacles in applying for visas. It really was a lot of trouble.

The fact that she had been able to visit so many areas in such a short period of time was probably due to her forcefulness and the cooperation of the North Korean high-ranking official. She said that the U.S. authorities had recognized her investigative talent after reading her 1996 report and had invited her to join them, but that she had refused the offer.


I will continue to be an independent, unaffiliated to any organization. I learned why I was unable to contact her for seven months. Her lifestyle forced her to travel abroad for nine months of the year and teach classes for the other three months. She was not, of course, sight-seeing in that time. She took students to civil war and tribal conflict zones and trained them to carry out research in such trouble areas. She had just returned a few days ago from Yugoslavia, before that she was in Afghanistan and Sudan. Ms Lautze had graduated from Princeton, the prestigious university in the east coast of the U.S. She specialized in agriculture and economics and researched factors behind famines and the types of effective aid measures. She was also a specialist in Chinese and in 1988 she was invited by the Chinese government to oversee a translation program from Chinese to English. Although she had considerable knowledge and an impressive background, she did not follow the typical career path of most scholars. She was experienced in wars, refugees, and famines and battlefields thick with the smell of blood, puss, and waste. I imagined tents full of starving refugees, horrible struggles for food, mined cities covered by the dust of war. And in that environment, Ms Lautze, would be rushing to disaster zones on a jeep and deciding where to send food aid next. Despite working in such high-pressure areas, she seemed to be relaxed and quite intellectual in her approach. She had been invited to teach at Tufts University from 1997 as a full-time lecturer for School of Nutrition Science and Policy. I don't know very much about Japanese academia, and I know even less about the U.S. But I suspect that Japanese universities, unlike Princeton, did not often employ people with the qualities of Ms Lautze - her kind of impressive practical experience, broad strategic mind, and decisiveness of a field commander. I suspect Japanese universities are full of students cramming towards a university post and a salaried job, with their small-minded Japanese professors advising their research. Such an education system was unlikely to nurture students engaged in the problems of the world and committed to reducing the sufferings of others. To nurture charismatic students, one must hire charismatic teachers like Ms Lautze. I parted with Ms Lautze, happy to have met such an impressive person and took the taxi she had called for me to Boston. I realized I had neither eaten breakfast nor lunch and felt suddenly very hungry. I decided to celebrate my successful meeting with Ms Lautze by ordering a huge two-pound lobster with some local beer. As I left the restaurant, the early autumn winds in Boston felt good on my skin.


Chapter Five
Exterminating the hostile class by famine 1 The insights of a high-ranking U.S. official

If I had not come across Andrew Natsioss The Great North Korean Famine, I may not have been able to develop my thesis and this book may never have been written. It was that valuable a book. It was evident from many testimonies that mass famines had occurred in North Korea. I was unconvinced, however, by the theories which argued that the mass famines were caused by natural disasters or the failure of juche (self-reliant) agriculture. If the natural disasters were the sole cause, then neighboring South Korea and China should also have similarly suffered famines. If juche agriculture was at fault, why was North Korea capable of feeding its people for the last few decades and then suddenly unable to do so in the mid 1990s? Moreover, several million people had starved in a short period of time and the deaths were concentrated in the northeastern provinces of North and South Hamgyong. How could there be such a difference of mortality rates between the regions of such a small nation like North Korea? I had not come across any analysis which could convincingly answer these questions. My doubts were cleared for the first time by reading The Great North Korean Famine. The book claimed that the North Korean government had decided to abandon North and South Hamgyong and terminate food distribution to these provinces in 1994. Since the summer of 2000, I had been in the U.S. in order to study U.S.-North Korean relations during the 1990s. I had rented a tiny apartment in the suburbs of Washington DC and had been trawling through various documents. As I was struggling to make sense of the vast information I had uncovered in the summer of 2002, I came across Mr Natsioss recently published book. The book was an authoritative work of documented and foot-noted research, as well as being the recollections of the authors many years in various food aid organizations. Andrew Natsios is currently administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Before this post, he had worked on food aid programs to North Korea and had been stationed in the country briefly for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and Bureau for Food and Humanitarian Assistance in USAID. While reading his work, the hair on my skin rose as I realized what I had vaguely suspected might be the truth; Kim Jong Il was intentionally creating the famines and murdering his countrymen in the form of starvation. He had planned and executed the murder, not of 10,000 or 100,000, but of millions. To these vague suspicions, Mr Natsioss book seemed to offer answers.


This book was later published from Fusosha in December, 2002 under the title Kitachosen kiga no shinjitsu (North Korea - The Truth of the Famines), translated by Sakata Kazunori. In the translation, the most crucial and often used word, triage, had been mistranslated and the meaning has been reversed. Mr Natsios writes:
Pyongyangs decision to triage the northeast region of the country by cutting off food subsidies to the eastern coastal plain in 1994 and 1995 killed more than a million people. (The Great North Korean Famine, pg 91) The central government decided to reduce grain subsidies to the Northeast in the early 1990s and to stop them entirely in 1994. The triage of the Northeast therefore began well before the famine spread to the western provinces; mortality rates were much higher much earlier than in the rest of the country. (ibid. pg 109)

North Hamgyong and South Hamgyong are the northeastern provinces of North Korea. Approximately five million people, or a quarter of the countrys population, live in this region. North Hamgyong is in the very North of the country, bordering China and Russia. Temperatures can fall below minus 40 degrees Celsius in the winters. Mountainous and unsuited for agriculture, the region has remained poor and discriminated against since the times of the Lee feudal dynasty. At times, the area had been used as a penal colony. Since its liberation from Japanese colonization in 1945, members of the hostile class (which comprises 20 percent of the population) had been sent to this northeastern region under the political class system established by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. North Koreans do not have the freedom or choice in deciding where they live. Mr Natsios explains why this area was chosen to be abandoned.
Loyalty to the center has always been weakest in the Northeast, which is undoubtedly why Kim Jong Il decided this region was expendable ... one could easily argue that the eastern coastal cities pose the greatest threat to the survival of the central government. .. Although the northeastern provinces have not at the time of writing become hotbeds of sedition and rebellion, they may well be one day, given the opportunity. (Natsios, pg 234)

It was as I had suspected. Mr Natsios description brought to my mind the lyrics of the Gando Partisans Song by the Japanese proletariat poet Makimura Ko.
We are the men and women of Hamgyong In the name of this land carved with the history of defiance against our exploiters In the name of this earth soaked with the blood of countless uprisings


For the sake of all Korea How could we shamelessly hand over this land with bowed head

The people of this region remained recalcitrant under Japanese colonial occupation. Even as Korean independence fighters fled the country, many of those in Hamgyong remained. From this tradition and history of revolt, a group of closely-knit leaders from this region formed the Kapsan faction within the North Korean Workers Party after liberation. Among them was Vice-Chairman Pak Kum Chol, leader of this faction who was warmly supported by the public. Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, driven by jealousy, purged members of the Kapsan faction, including Pak Kum Chol, Lee Hyo Sun, and Pak Yong Guk during the Korean Workers Party held in May of 1967. It was also in Chongjin and Ranam of North Hamgyong that a major coup d'tat plan was uncovered in the summer of 1995. The rebels had planned to attack Pyongyang from North Hamgyong and overthrow the Kim Jong Il regime. For Kim Jong Il, North and South Hamgyong were the greatest source of instability to his regime. Kim Jong Il was terrified after witnessing the execution of Ceauescu in the popular uprising in Romania. The lesson learnt was to kill before being killed. Many of the five million inhabitants of Hamgyong had been branded as members of the hostile class and treated with discrimination. Kim Jong Il ordered a preemptive strike against them by completely cutting off their food distribution and provisions. I felt a chill run down my spine, though it was a hot summer night, as I sat alone in the suburbs of Washington reading Mr Natsios' book. I couldn't help but put down the book. 2 The testimony of the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee

The significance of Mr Natsios' book is that it is based on the experiences and observations of people who had carried out fieldwork in North Korea. The testimony of these people shed light on Kim Jong Ils cold-blooded strategy of cutting off the northeastern region. The following is taken from Mr Natsios' The Great North Korean Famine. WFP workers were gradually realizing that there was some significant secret hidden in the northeastem region. They were united with the desire to make an inquiry into this area, but all of them failed, blocked by the thick wall of secrecy in North Korea. This deadlock was broken only when WFP secretary general Catherine Bertini was able to enter North Korea in March of 1997.
Some relief workers and analysts began to wonder whether there was something the regime was hiding that could not be easily disguised as in other areas a f the country. Catherine Bertini herself wondered why the regime was so insistent that no one visit the Northeast; she suspected that something was seriously wrong in the region. (The Great North Korean Famine, pg 174-175)


WFP secretary-general Bertini issued three important decisions. First, to demand more food aid from donor nations. Second, to demand North Korea permit a journalist hired by the WFP to enter the country and take photos of starvation victims. Third, to demand North Korea permit her senior logistics expert, Tun Myat, be allowed to travel to the forbidden northeastern regions. The North Korean side agreed grudgingly. They had been explicitly threatened with a termination of all aid in the case of non-compliance. In May 1997, Tun Myat, director of transportation, became the first foreign aid worker to officially enter the northeastern region. A 29-hour train ride took him to Chongjin, one of the centers of the northeast, 500 km from Pyongyang as the crow flies. Until boarding the train, the North Korean authorities tried to prevent Mr Myat from going, telling him that the weather in the region was poor, that there was nothing to see there, or that it was difficult to travel there. Mr Myat threatened that unless he was taken to the northeastern regions, all future aid from the WFP would be halted. Faced with this ultimatum, the North Korean authorities boarded him on special train carriages reserved for party cadres, in an attempt to separate Mr Myat from normal passengers. When the train entered a steep curve, however, Mr Myat was able to see the last carriages from his carriage which was at the front of the train. The normal carriages were packed with people wearing rags who looked like refugees. Some people were even clinging on to the roof. These were people who were clearly risking their lives to travel in search of food. In Chongjin city of North Hamgyong, Mr Myat carried out interviews at randomly chosen homes, refusing to carry out interviews with families provided by the North Korean authorities. Mr Myats impression was that local officials were far friendlier, cooperative, and less ideologically hide-bound than officials of other regions. Through this investigation, Mr Myat acquired proof that food supplies were not being sent to the northeastern regions. Mr Natsios directly confirmed this with Mr Myat in a meeting with him in the WFP headquarters in Rome. Mr Natsios slowly realized that North Korean was abandoning the Northeastern regions through his interviews. He writes:
The attitude of regime officials negotiating with the WFP over regional food allocations suggested they were pursuing a triage strategy. They assiduously resisted at every turn any WFP plans to allocate food to the Northeast. (The Great North Korean Famine, pg 107) In fact, Pyongyang made no such claim concerning the Chinese food aid. Rather, it made the specious argument that no ships were directed to northeastern ports simply because the Northeast did not need food aid. Floods had affected the Northeast as much as other areas of the country, but whereas the central authorities prevented any assessment from being conducted in the Northeast, they facilitated such assessments elsewhere. (Natsios, pg 108-109)

Mr Natsios, realizing this abnormal policy of abandoning one region, testified in the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate. Natsios used the term triage to explain this North 91

Korean policy. According to the dictionary, triage is defined as (1) the ranking of a product; (2) the process of categorizing the wounded or sick for treatment priority; (3) the selective use of limited resources for effectiveness and speed. Mr Natsios used the word with the second definition in mind. In a field hospital with limited number of doctors and nurses during war, it is not possible to treat all the wounded. It then becomes necessary to only treat those who can be saved and abandon those too badly wounded. Kim Jong Ils policy was one of abandoning North and South Hamgyong to death. Mr Natsios argues that by abandoning the northeastern regions, Kim Jong Il was able to distribute extra food supplies to his political support base the privileged class, Pyongyang residents, military, and munitions workers. Following Tun Myats forced visit to Hamgyong, the region was finally considered a target area for food aid. Aid supplies were unloaded in Chongijn harbor and WFP transportation staff went to the site under Mr Myats instructions to monitor the process. A WFP statement from July 1, 1997, stated:
A ship chartered by the World Food Programme has arrived in North Korea with urgently needed food aid for the northeast of the country where hunger is widespread, WFP reported today. The shipment will be the first food aid delivered directly to the hard-hit Northeast, where aid agencies have not previously been able to operate. (Natsios, pg 107)

For the first time in the two years since North Korea had begun to demand food aid using the August 1995 great floods as a pretext, a small crack had formed in the thick wall which blocked aid into the northeastern regions. Mr Natsios argues that even after the WFP succeeded in delivering food aid to the northeast, North Korean authorities continued to favor the westem provinces and discriminated against the eastem provinces18. Only 18 percent of the 1.25 million tons of food aid which was donated by the WFP and other countries between 1997 and 1998 were shipped to the eastern harbors. A third of the countrys population, however, lives in this eastem region. Mr Natsios, though in cautious terms, clearly describes how the North Korean government had used various Machiavellian means to block and divert aid, prevent visits to Hamgyong, and isolate the northeastern regions, deny its inhabitants food aid, and ultimately drive them to death. What else could this be, but a carefully planned and executed massacre? 3 Meeting Andrew S. Natsios

I wanted to meet Mr Natsios and thank him for his book which had led me out of a long tunnel in my research. I had also wanted to ask about the whereabouts of a WFP report which he had quoted. I was only a freelance writer with no connections to a top U.S. government

18 Hamgyong and Chagang provinces


official. I decided to consult a correspondent for a major Japanese newspaper stationed in Washington DC. This was in the summer of 2003. You have to remember Mr Natsios is a cabinet member. Even we have difficulty meeting him. Do you want to have an interview? No, the book has told me enough. I just want to meet him to thank him. I decided to send a letter anyhow, but received no response. It was in the March of 2003, when the U.S. had begun its bombings of Iraq, and I learned that Mr Natsios, as the administrator of USAID responsible for disaster relief, was extremely busy. The summer holidays began and I was about to give up any meeting with him until September, when I received a call from his secretary in mid-July. The administrator is still on holiday in the countryside, but he will come back to Washington on July 18th. He said he could meet if it was just for one hour. It felt as if I was walking on clouds. On July 18th, I headed to the USDA offices in the Reagan Building located on Pennsylvania Avenue which connects the White House with the U.S. Congress. After passing through security checks that had been tightened against terrorist attacks, aide Jon Brause was waiting for me. He asked, What kind of questions do you plan to ask today? I would like to ask a few things about Mr Natsioss book. Im afraid thats not permitted. I was surprised. I had come all the way about his book. Because Mr Natsios had written the book as a private citizen before he became an administrator. He is now a cabinet member and works in a public capacity. All questions about his activities as a private citizen are forbidden. I thought they were being rather strict, but if those were the rules, it couldn't be helped. I entered the room and was told to wait in a large room with a sofa. After five minutes, the secretary, an intellectual-looking Caucasian woman of around fifty who had telephoned me, opened the door and welcomed me in. Mr Natsios was tall even for an American. I hear youve read my book, thank you, he said and approached to shake hands. He seemed to be a straight-forward man. There is supposed to be a Japanese translation of my book, do you know about it? Of course, I read the English version first, and then the translation came out. Ive read both. How is the translation?


I couldn't remember the English expression for so-so, and mumbled a few words. Mr Natsios seemed to grasp what I was trying to say. As if speaking to himself, he said, Well, one month might have been too short to translate ... And so we were talking about the book from the beginning of the meeting. It was a bit funny to see Mr Brause, who had warned me not to ask any questions about the book, listening quietly and respectfully on the sofa. I guess, like in Japan, it is not possible to correct your superior even in the U.S. I thanked Mr Natsios, telling him how his book had opened my eyes to the fact that the mass famines were caused by the North Korean governments policy of abandoning the northeastern region and cutting off food supplies to its residents. I explained how I believed that, based on this knowledge, Kim Jong Il had intentionally carried out an act of murder. If murder was too strong a word, he had committed willful negligence. I had looked up the phrase willful negligence in the dictionary earlier. Both listened with interest and nodded. Mr Natsios agreed, stating that my thinking was correct. He also evinced interest in my theory that the North Korean nuclear crisis in 1994 was staged in order to divert mounting popular dissatisfaction, which was evolving into food riots, into anti-U.S. sentiment. When is your book coming out? When will it be translated? he asked. I would like to publish an English version and am preparing to have it translated, I answered. Then I can read it too, he said gladly. I felt strongly that I needed to have the book translated, even if I had to do it myself, in spite of my poor English being my second foreign language. I wanted to present the book to the numerous American researchers, including Mr Natsios, who had given me considerable hints in my research. Is there anything I can do for you? Since Mr Natsios had offered so kindly, I asked him about a report published by the WFP Rome headquarters on April 10th, 1991, entitled Report concerning the WFP investigation of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. I am having trouble getting a copy of this report. I have it, so let me send it to you, Mr Natsios said and wrote down a memo on the name card I had given him. I was half in doubt that such a busy and important man would remember, but after some time, he sent the report to me. I was forced to return to Japan a month after having met Mr Natsios in August of 2003. 94

Yamada Fumiaki, the representative for the Association to protect the lives and human rights of North Korean returnees which I was affiliated with, had been arrested by Chinese public security trying to rescue North Korean refugees. Mr Yamada was kept under arrest for twenty days and finally released at the end of August. After seeing him safely return at Narita Airport, I went to China and Korea from September 2nd for research. I spent a month in the hustle-bustle of Beijing and the even more clamorous city of Seoul, becoming both physically and mentally exhausted. I missed my quiet lifestyle in the suburbs of Washington DC, surrounded by woodland, wild deer and rabbits. When I came fleeing back to the U.S., I found that Mr Natsios had sent me the WFP report. After reading this report, I was able to confirm that the impassable rift between Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il existed when the WFP delegation had visited North Korea in March of 1991. I had written about this in Chapter Three. From this report, I was able to acquire the context of Kim Il Sungs mysterious death. The hints I had gained from Mr Natsios' materials were conclusive. 4 Exterminating the hostile class

It is important to note that Mr Natsios did not and does not claim that Kim Jong Il had murdered millions by famine. Mr Natsios is currently a cabinet member in the Bush Administration. At the time he wrote the book, he was outside of office, but close enough to eventually be assigned an important post in the government. Although there are a number of expressions which insinuated the possibility of a massacre through famine, he writes throughout his book with reserve and caution
Although they did not state as much, the theory that the state used the famine to exterminate problem elements in society if true would constitute one massive human rights abuse ... The genocide convention might even have obtained if a particular class of people had been marked for extermination by the authorities - even if by starvation rather than by outright execution. (The Great North Korean Famine, pg 209-210)

Many of his statements are made conditionally. But Natsios clearly claims that (1) the North Korean central government decided to cut off the northeastern region and (2) as a result of halting all food distribution to this area, 2.5 million people starved to death. The significance of these two points is immeasurable. These hints led me to the hypothesis that famine was used as an instrument to deliberately eradicate three million people. The claim that Kim Jong Il intentionally created the famines to kill his political enemies is strictly mine. I had first come upon this theory after hearing about what Russian journalist Platkovskiy had learned in Pyongyang: Kim Jong Il was terrified by Ceauescus execution. Kim Jong Ils class war commenced from this execution. His cowardice prevented him from sleeping soundly at night unless he had exterminated the hostile class which threatened his survival. 95

Kim Jong Il had gradually reduced food distribution from the beginning of the 1990s across all of North Korea in an attempt to malnourish the population and sap their energy to revolt. Distribution to North and South Hamgyong was particularly reduced. Kim Il Sung, who later learned of this fact, severely reprimanded Kim Jong Il, and this led to a vehement conflict between father and son. The obstacle to Kim Jong Ils plans was removed in the summer of 1994 with Kim Il Sungs mysterious death. Thereafter, Kim Jong Il aggressively cut off food distribution, severed the peoples lifeline, and carried out measures to exterminate the hostile class. Mr Natsios had pin-pointed the period when food distribution was cut off. Mr Natsioss claims were corroborated by research done by the South Korean Buddhist organization mentioned in Chapter Four. According to their survey, 40 percent of refugees from North Hamgyong and 46 percent from South Hamgyong testified that food distribution had been stopped in 1994. In North Korea, terminating food distribution is no different from pulling the plug in a life-support system. All food supplies are distributed by the government. Not just grain, but vegetables, miso, soy sauce, cooking oil, and condiments are distributed. All private enterprise is strictly forbidden and any entrepreneurial activity is punished as a counter-revolutionary conspiracy to revive capitalism. There is no freedom of movement and individuals must gain a permit from the secret service or authorities to even travel to a nearby village. North Koreans living in cities do not even have the option of bringing their goods to the countryside to barter for potatoes as the Japanese did during the wartime shortages. These people were too loyal and nave to suspect that their Dear Leader, son of the Great Leader, was trying to kill them off. They were more likely to accept government and party propaganda that the U.S. imperialists were economically sanctioning the country and making it impossible to purchase food supplies. As the famine worsened, their hostility to the imperialists increased, they tightened their belts, and redoubled their resolve to overcome this march of hardship. Exterminating these trusting people was no more difficult than stealing candy from a baby. The North Korean people, not given information and unable to travel, had no way of knowing what was happening and what was about to happen to them. They were vaguely aware of the foreigners from the UN and other organizations that were coming to their country to offer humanitarian aid. As I had mentioned, investigators for the WFP, such as Sue Lautze, were becoming aware of the government's policy of heartlessly abandoning the northeastern regions. The problem, however, was the motivation behind this policy. Why did Kim Jong Il take such measures? Mr Natsios argues that if the meager food supplies were equally distributed, members of the privileged classes and military would be dissatisfied. Kim Jong Il had decided that an equitable distribution of food supplies would create the risks of a military coup d'tat.


I agree with the analysis. Such thinking must have naturally been part of the decision. But if it was simply a question of distributing the food widely and thinly to all or favoring the elite, there was no reason for a life-or-death rift to develop between Kim father and son. Mr Natsios revealed the existence of Kim Jong Ils policy to cut off the northeast. As I have already mentioned, the significance of this fact is incalculable. His analysis for the motivation of this policy, however, seems inadequate. Mr Natsios has argued that by reducing the number of mouths to feed, the surplus food could be directed towards Kim Jong Ils political supporters. My interpretation, however, is that Kim Jong Il had a far more cruel motivation. Kim Jong Il had been planning something so terrible it was not possible to carry out while Kim Il Sung was alive. Driven by the fear that he would not survive if the hostile class continued to exist, Kim Jong Il decided to carry out the final solution. This was to be undertaken by cutting off food distribution, artificially creating a mass famine, and exterminating the population under the guise of natural starvation. But in the crisis of the early 1990s, Kim Il Sung had decided that rebuilding agriculture and feeding the people were top priorities. An unbridgeable rift developed between the father and son. This resulted in Kim Il Sung being driven to death. Kim Jong Ils war against the hostile class could only be waged by removing the obstacle of Kim Il Sung. It was only possible to understand Kim Il Sungs sudden death by interpreting events in this framework. The theory that Kim Jong Il had generated the mass famines as a way of exterminating the hostile classes explains why the North Korean regime had adamantly forbidden international observers to enter the northeastern regions. It also explains the bizarre phenomena of the number of starvation victims surging in the region even as massive amounts of international food aid were being delivered to North Korea in 1995 and 1996. The northeastern regions became the battlefield of class struggle for Kim Jong Il. The Hamgyong inhabitants were enemies that needed to be wiped out. One survives only with the death of the enemy - this was the logic of the battlefield and the iron rule of class struggle. Revolution demands a pitiless, physical struggle in which if you live, I die and if you win, I lose ... said an article in the Labor Daily (December 22, 2000, Seiron, Hakuto no jyu no ketto). Ceauescus execution had planted this paranoid world view into Kim Jong Ils mind. It was a question of kill or be killed. Unless Ihe enemy was wiped out, Kim Jong Il feared, I would be wiped out. The collapse of Romania, the Eastern European countries, and the Soviet Union only exacerbated these fears. Kim Jong Ils cowardice drove him to believe that his life was linked to the survival of the regime. He staked his life on strengthening the military and the protection of his secret police. He no longer trusted members of the Korean Workers Party, as can be seen in his secret speech given in December 1996 (Shukan Bunshun. April 3rd, 1997. translated by the author). Kim Jong Il, not admitting any of his own responsibility, 97

blamed the Workers Party for doing nothing as the people were suffering from food shortages. He ridiculed the Workers Party as an elders party and a corpse party, Kim Jong Il could only trust the military. Suppressing anti~government sentiment by force, like the Tiananmen Incident in China in 1989 when popular protests were crushed under tanks, usually only results in more hostility from the populace. Massacring millions by steel pipes and violence as in Pol Pot did in Cambodia usually result in severe criticism from the outside world. Kim Jong Il, however, came upon a particularly sly and cruel way of killing millions without firing a single bullet or attracting international criticism: terminate food distribution. Kim Jong Il saw the famines as a way of getting rid of those who threatened his regime. In starvations, the massacre would be veiled from the outside world. The motivation of the murderer would also be ingeniously hidden from the victim. This was the reason why so many people misunderstood the deaths as resulting from natural food shortages. The food shortages were an unexpected godsend for Kim Jong Il who used them to wage a desperate war for his own survival. 5 Why was Hamgyong abandoned?

For Kim Jong Il, the northeastern region was an intractable land with intractable people. The region, inhabited by many members of the hostile class, was closely watched at all times out of fear that they would aid the South Korean military to overthrow the regime in Pyongyang in time of emergency. Yun Dae Il, a North Korean exile who was once a cadre of the State Security Department, had written in his book, North Korea, the State Security Department19, of the existence of a category of people called the number 10 class. The number 10 class, who could not be trusted, was to be executed immediately together with their families in the event of war. The secret police officers were instructed to have execution grounds prepared for such executions. North Hamgyong province has always been a barren hinterland far from cities covered by mountains and more mountains. It was also the place of exile for politicians and officials that had lost political battles in Seoul during the feudal reign of the Lee dynasty. Perhaps because of such illustrious ancestors, the region was also full of talented men. Because the region also borders China and the Soviet Union, the Hamgyong provinces were the first areas in which socialism reached Korea during Japans colonial occupation. The people of the region tended to be more magnanimous and open than the rest of the country. Many provincials of North Hamgyong freely crossed the river into China and were living in the Gando region (currently the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Zone). Over two million Koreans
19 , Kitachosen Kokka Anzen Houeibu, Bungei Shunju, 2003, translated by Hagiwara Ryo


are said to live in the northeast of China around Yanbian and have their roots in Hamgyong province and speak Korean with a Hamgyong accent. During the era of Japanese imperialism, many of the partisan fighters who aided Kim Il Sung were from Hamgyong. Kim Jong Suk, Kim Il Sungs previous wife and mother of Kim Jong Il, was from Hoiryong and was a tailor in the partisan army. After liberation, Kim Il Sung returned from the Soviet Union with a dozen partisan colleagues to Pyongyang, became Chairman, and his colleagues from Hamgyong assumed important government posts. During the Soviet occupation of North Korea, many Koreans with connections to Hamgyong living in central Asia, Uzbekistan , and Kazakhstan were employed as translators. After liberation, the Hamgyong faction dominated the Workers Party and the government and Pyongyang was described as a colony of Hamgyong. So powerful and influential was the existence of the Hamgyong people for Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Many of the Koreans formerly living in Japan who returned to their homeland in the 1960s were also forced to live in Hamgyong. This region has numerous coal pits and mines. The Aoji coal pit, a name synonymous with forced labor, is in North Hamgyong. There are ten concentration camps in North Korea currently (from Kitachosen kokka Gllzen hoeibu pg 78-81), but six of them, including Yodok camp, are located in North and South Hamgyong. I saw Hoiryong in North Hamgyong during my research trip in the autumn of 2003 from Sanhezhen, the Chinese city just across the border. When I was a correspondent, I was mostly kept in virtual house arrest in Pyongyang and had only visited Pamunjeom, so this was the first time I had seen the North Korean hinterland. It was worth traveling this far. The upper reaches of the Tumen river, not far from the foot of Mt Paektu, was only fifty meters or so wide. The water came up only to the knee. There did not seem to be security guards on the riverbank of the Hoiryong side. It didn't seem particularly difficult to escape North Korea in this very plain riverbank setting. Looking into the city, I was able to see a dozen or so people, the size of poppy seeds, walking slowly up the gradual hillside of Hoiryong. Compared to the wealth and activity on the Chinese side, not a single plume of smoke was rising from the factories across the river on the North Korean side. It seemed to be a ghost town, and the bark of a dog was the only sign of life. As I had described in Chapter One, I would like readers to recall Kim Il Sungs famous speech which had been reprinted in the Labor Daily dated January 25, 1990. This was the speech entitled, The problem of North Hamgyong party organization. In the speech, Kim severely criticized the North Hamgyong party organization for its obstinate regionalism20 and for acting against Central Committees directions. North Hamgyong was an intractable province and seemed to cause considerable trouble for Kim Il Sung. Chongjin, the central city of North Hamgyong, was put under direct
20 Neglecting the Central Committee for ones region and taking a rebellious stance.


administrative control in 1960, but Kim Il Sung revoked the decision seven years later, demoting the rank of the city. Kim Il Sung states in his speech.
Regionalism is the hotbed for clan-ism and chongpa. This is how chongpa are started. When chongpa develop, factions are born. The primary task for the North Hamgyong party organization is to remove the poison of regionalism and clan-ism. We must continue to wage uncompromising struggle against elements that rebel secretly while pretending to obey outwardly.

Chongpa are anti-party, counter-revolutionary elements in North Korea who are expected to suffer fates worse than death. This speech reveals how Kim Il Sung was frightened by the prospects of an uprising from North Hamgyong. I do not know why Kim Jong Il reprinted this speech in January of 1990, but it could be, in one sense, read as a declaration of war against North Hamgyong. Kim Jong Ils enemies are neither Americans, South Koreans, nor Japanese. His most threatening enemies are his own citizens, particularly the several million members of the hostile class who live mainly in North and South Hamgyong. Kim Jong Ils preemptive attack was mass murder in the guise of a famine. It was Kim Jong Ils class struggle and a war without gunfire. 6 War without gunfire

One day I was reading an article in the Labor Daily. I doubted my eyes. An important editorial in the Labor Daily was confirming my theory of Kim Jong Ils war.
It was literally a war without a declaration of war, a great war of the worlds without the sound of gunfire or canon. Now that the world is changing, I do not want to recall those days so laden with crimes. But how can we forget? However many months pass and peaceful springs come, how can we forget the bloody history which has left such violent wounds? Yes. We had waged a total war. Though our cities were not engulfed in flames and the smoke of gunpowder, though our clothes were not torn asunder by bullets or soaked in blood, the invisible bullets and bombs of our enemies followed a clearly drawn path and gradually destroyed one after another our means of living.

This was from an article in the October 3rd, 2000, issue of the Labor Daily. It was written in the editorial style and entitled We will never forget and given a subtitle of Writing about the noble general and shogun of Mt Paektu, Kim Jong Ils revolutionary records of the March of hardship. This article referred to Kim Jong Ils war, which had begun in the beginning of 1995, as a march of hardship. 100

A specialist on North Korean issues and a junior from my university had sent this piece to me in the U.S .. It was an important editorial which used up two full pages of the Labor Daily. After reading it once, the editorial seemed to be saying the same things which I had been claiming. I was surprised by the bizarre coincidence The words of the editorial seemed to substantiate my gut feeling that the massive famines between 1995 and 1998 were not natural, but man-made. I was claiming that the mass starvations were part of Kim Jong Ils war of eliminating the hostile class. The Labor Daily was also using the phrases of war without a declaration of war and a great world war without shots of canon. Although the interpretations for the wars may have been different, the editorial had acknowledged the existence of a war, as I had. It could be said, then, that this editorial substantiated my theory on Kim Jong Ils War. The author of this editorial was Ton Tae Guan. He was a journalist well-liked by Kim Jong Il and occasionally wrote important editorials. He was a talented writer who knew how to appeal to a readers emotions. The editorial contains the following descriptions:
In those long, long days and nights, heart-rending wails echoed through the workplaces and factories from house to house. The solemn funeral processions with people in black and ribbons of white silently drifted through the city of sorrow ...

He was describing a funeral procession through the fields. The descriptions were unique for an editorial in the Labor Daily, where critical or negative sentiments were almost never written. This editorial, however, is an exception to the normal exhortative propaganda offered in this North Korean paper.
Why, in this peaceful era when there are no wars, have the factories stopped and our fatherlands fertile soil dried up? Why has even the electricity, the driving force of our country, become scarce and the few functioning trains halted and the lights of our capital turned off? Why did these people who had enjoyed such wealth and happiness, and wanted in nothing, have to suffer pangs of hunger and shiver with cold? Why did they have to secretly weep and make heart-rending sacrifices and experience privations which did not exist even in the most turbulent times of history? What was the calamity, what was the disaster? Why did such surprisingly cruel trials occur, appearing out of nowhere as if created by some magical force? Was it merely the whim of the heartless progress of history? Was it the trick of some strange fortune?

I was momentarily stunned when I first read the phrase magical force, The famines were certainly the work of the devil. Something which no human could produce. Was the Labor Daily journalist blaming the devil?


The editorial continues in this vein, but suddenly refutes all of these preceding doubts, stating: No, these were not the causes, The journalists argument shifts track and a series of falsehoods follow. The editorial proceeds to explain how these sufferings were caused by the economic sanctions of the foreign imperialists ..
We fought for the survival of our nation and our people and in defense of the independence and peace of humanity by fighting the great imperialist powers alone. The time had come for the final battle. And for this, we have had to suffer unimaginably excruciating pains and shed agonizing tears of blood. Humanity remembers the 900-day siege of Leningrad during the Second World War as the bitterest trial in the history of mankind. But no, far longer and far crueler days of siege occurred after those 900 days of death. Not one city, but a whole nation, had been held under siege, isolated and without help. Not one enemy, but numerous enemies on all sides had to be smashed to pieces. How can we describe in words this severity and harshness?

For those of you who have read my book so far, it should be easy to comprehend the fraudulence of the argument put forth by this article in the Labor Daily. The conflict with the U.S. was created in order to divert attention away from domestic problems. It was a conflict instigated by the North Korean regime. Pyongyangs policy of brink diplomacy had threatened world peace. This was a self-inflicted war. And the U.S. had rashly accepted this challenge. The political editorial falsehoods reach its worst in the following lines:
Throw out food we do not need into the sea, the capitalists hatefully said. We do not have a single grain of rice to give to North Korea, The imperialists shamelessly made public their plans of a surgical air-strike to occupy Pyongyang at time of their choosing. The time of a truly severe trial had come for our fatherland.

Everybody, apart from the North Koreans themselves, is aware of how many countries and people responded to the North Korean demands for food aid and medicines. The U.S. plan for a surgical air-strike was discussed during the nuclear crisis of 1993 and 1994 which North Korea had instigated by itself when it threatened to turn Seoul into a sea of fire. Both sides were at fault; the North was no innocent bystander. The greatest lie in this editorial was that it failed to acknowledge that North Korea had been promised by the U.S. two light-water nuclear reactors and 500,000 of heavy oil every year after the Framework Agreement. This period of extremely good relations between the two countries has even been described as the U.S.-North Korean honeymoon period. Several hundred thousand to a million tons of food aid, in the guise of natural disaster relief, were being shipped to North Korea every year from 1995. The claim, therefore, that North Korea was beset by a siege worse than Leningrad was 102

an outright lie. All of these facts, however, were completely hidden from the public in the editorial. It was only in Kim Jong Ils dictatorship, which kept its citizens in such complete ignorance, that such transparent falsehoods could deceive the public. Despite this North Korean journalists considerable literary talent, I felt sorry that he was being forced to write such fraud. This article was a crime against the North Korean people, and the journalist was no less a partner in this crime. This deceptive editorial had probably been written to justify the unprecedented hardships which had beset the North Korean public from around 1995. The severity of the food shortages and starvations could no longer be explained as the result of natural disasters. And the public was becoming aware that something else - only a war could cause such massive casualties. It was indeed a war waged by Kim Jong Il aimed at eliminating the hostile class and the inhabitants of Hamgyong. Since the authorities couldn't admit this, they deceived the public by lying about a great world war against the world imperialist powers. As this was the only way to convince the suffering masses, these years were referred to as a great world war, It appears that as one falsehood had gone bankrupt, another falsehood had to be put in place. Whatever the case, an editorial in the Labor Daily had substantiated my theory of Kim Jong Ils war.


Chapter Six
There was enough food 1 The march of hardship

Kim Jong Il had come up with a scheme of eliminating several million members of the hostile class by cutting off their food distribution. But in order to execute this plan, he needed the requisite stage set and props. It was necessary to stage the famines in North Hamgyong, the main battlefield of this war, so that they appeared plausible. Kim Jong Il established a fictitious war without a declaration of war and a war without gunfire and named it the march of hardship. Kim Jong Il disguised the massacring of his countrymen by spreading propaganda about a siege by imperialist nations and an economic blockade of food imports. The original march of hardship was a hundred day march led by Kim Il Sung in China during his armed resistance against the Japanese. Kim Il Sung and his guerillas, which were being hunted down by the Japanese military, fled from Menjiang Prefecture to the banks of the Yalu River in northeast China. They were forced to flee through heavy snows without supplies and to eat the roots of grass and the bark of trees to stave off hunger. Kim Jong Il evoked this period in a propaganda campaign and demanded the people to persevere with indomitable revolutionary spirit in the face of a fictitious imperialist siege and blockade. This was another one of his shrewd stratagems. It is generally believed that Kim Jong Ils march of hardship was first announced on New Years day, 1996. This particular phrase was first used in a joint-editorial entitled Raise high the red flag and strengthen our military advance for the new year which was published in the Labor Daily, the Korean Peoples Army (Military organ) paper, and the Working Youth (Socialist Working Youth Alliance Organ) paper. The following is taken from this editorial:
At this time, when the Party and revolution faces severe trials, our party and party members, the officers and men of the Peoples Army, and the people must live and fight in the spirit of the march of hardship born in the thick forest of Mt. Paektu. Today we are building socialism in one of the most difficult of environments. The spirit of the march of hardship is one of self-regeneration and determination to carry out the revolution to the end. It is the revolutionary spirit of bitter struggle which knows no defeatism or wavering in the face of severe adversity. It is the spirit of optimism that will challenge and break through all obstacles - an unbending revolutionary spirit of bitter struggle which seeks no peace.

According to the Labor Daily editorial We will never forget (which I quoted in Chapter Five), the march of hardship began in the morning of January 1, 1995, when Kim Jong Il visited an army sentry box on a consolatory visit. It was only five months after Kim Il Sung had suddenly died and, freed from all hindrances, Kim Jong Il was pursuing strategies as he desired. In 1994, food distribution was cut off. The people were searching for grass and tree bark in the field and the mountains, gathering sea weed and fish by the beach, and selling their 104

meager possessions in a desperate effort to survive. Starvation victims began to appear as the people were spent and sapped of energy. The whole peninsula, particularly North Hamgyong, was becoming a crucible of hell. Think of the march of hardship of your elders, dont whine about these insignificant problems - the party cadres and activists scolded the people. Corpses began to pile up, creating a horrifying spectacle. This is the testimony of a North Korean exile, a 25-year old male university student from Chongjin in North Hamgyong.
The food shortage became serious from 1994, becoming worse every year. How were we to live? I went to Hamhun (South Hamgyong), thinking about doing some business, but the famine conditions of those people were terrible. They didnt even have the strength to bury family members. One house had just left the bodies of their family members outside of their house without doing anything about it. A rescue team would have to come and take the bodies away and bury it for the family. The most horrible thing I witnessed was a mass burial. There were too many people starving to death or dying from infectious diseases in North Korea at the time. It was not possible to transport all the corpses. Since there was also a shortage of gasoline, cars didnt run very often. So then corpses piled up until they were all transported and buried together. One time, military cadres sent us a notice to gather in front of the station square. When I arrived, over thirty young men had gathered. The cadres handed us shovels and picks and took us to the mountain. They ordered us to build a big hole. After digging the hole, about ten of us who came from families of good elements (political class) were asked to stay. It had already become night. Around ten oclock, three trucks arrived, full of corpses. We roughly tossed these corpses into the hole that we had dug. And then buried the hole. There probably was not a single one of us who did not cry while doing this. I secretly memorized the location of that hole. I am sure that one day, the hole will be uncovered and dug up again. (Watashi ha iesu wo shinjimasu (I Believe in Jesus) South Korea, Toshoshuppan, 2000, pg 201, translated from Korean)

The year 1996, which became the year of the march of hardship, passed. Hwang Jang Yop claims that one million people had died in this year. The following year, 1997, was designated as the year when the march of hardship would enter the final charge to victory. Even more hardships were forced upon the North Korean public. At about that time, I acquired a letter of a North Korean family who were originally Koreans living in Japan from a Japanese-Korean friend. The family of eight sisters and brothers had returned together from Japan to North Korea in the 1960s expecting an earthly paradise. The letter was from one of them who lived in North Hamgyong (I had taken out names for the sake of security), it read:
Dear Sister, The march of bitterness continues for the fourth year now in the fatherland because of the enemies isolationist and murderous policy of economic sanctions. We are in a war without the sound of cannon.


In the face of this unprecedented and terrible hardship, we can only single-mindedly believe in our Dear Leader. We dig up and eat the roots of wild leaves, make gruel from the grass, and help each other as much as we can to triumph and not succumb in our battle against them. I will never forget how much your aid has helped during the four years of the march of hardship. As for our sisters and brothers, one sister died in an explosion accident in the march of hardship and the family of sister A (her husband and two children) have all died. Sister A fell ill, unable at the end to triumph over the march of hardship. Her husband died from tuberculosis in mid-September and their children were missing, but later found dead. Sister A is still alive, but is unlikely to last for longer than a few more days. I used the five-thousand yen which you sent me from Japan to pay for the funeral services. (December 4, 1997)

The expression war without the sound of canon was being used here again. The writer of this letter is a cadre for a marginal party organization and had probably been instructed to explain events with these particular phrases. It shows that this expression was in currency in 1997. The editorial which stated that the '''march of hardship would be brought to a final charge of victory was published in the July 22, 1997, edition of the Labor Daily. This charge was to be the radical, final battle to determine autonomy or slavery, revival or ruin of this nation. Our people are suffering incalculable hardships as the result of the imperialist and their evil isolation policy of extermination and economic blockade, repeated natural disasters, and unprecedented economic challenges. Faltering in front of these challenges and retreating one step will be tantamount to retreating one hundred steps. Any weakness will be considered an act of treason. The article was written as if U.S. troops were about to invade North Korea at any moment and turn its people into slaves. On July 1, 1997, twenty days before this editorial was published, a ship carrying WFP aid had docked for the first time in Chingjiao harbor in North Hamgyong. This was the province worst-affected by famines, hidden from the outside, and blocked off from all aid. Propaganda campaigns, symbolized by the article above, were reversing facts and enabling Kim Jong Il to mask his man-made massacre. According to the investigation by the South Korean headquarters of the Buddhist Sharing Movement, two million people died from starvation in 1997. Pak Kuang Yong, South Korean Diet Chairman, had written in his book, Waga sei, waga yume, soshite toitsu (My Life, My Dream, and Unification, South Korea, Central M&B, 2003, Korean): During the march of hardship, two million people were killed by famine, They had not died from famine, but had been killed. The march of hardship was undoubtedly a war and slaughter conducted by Kim Jong Il.


Normalization of martial law - Military first policy

Kim Jong Il had succeeded in slaughtering three million people without firing one bullet. Faced with so many casualties, the North Korean people, however brain-washed and tamed, could not help raise voices of discontent and distrust. The party organization was unable to suppress this popular discontent. It was going to have to be suppressed at the barrel of the gun. A Labor Daily editorial - Seiron - hakuto no jiyu no ketto (Political commentary - the lineage of the gun of Paektu) published on December 22, 2000 - argues this point. The political commentary, second to importance in the Labor Daily after the editorial, records Kim Jong Ils words and actions and mirrors his will. Paektu refers to the soaring Mount Paektu located in the border of North Korea and China. Kim Il Sung had used this area as a base for his armed resistance against the Japanese during the colonial period. That days political commentary posed the question: How did our nation, a small country in the Far East, facing a crisis of destruction, miraculously survive and rapidly become a great power? The answer was to be found in the December 24th issue. All can be understood from this day, the commentary argued.
In a revolution, if you live, I die; if you win, I lose. Revolution demands an inevitably pitiless spirit of the gun and calls for a physical struggle of life and death. The clash of ideas, political principles, thoughts, and morals between revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries inevitably leads to a battle of gun against gun. Victory will be determined only then.

The political commentary presented this main premise and then continued with the following arguments. The Soviet Union collapsed overnight because it had relinquished its guns. But in the North Korean revolution, the following profound truth was well understood: Not only was the regime created out of the barrel of the gun, but the regime had been defended by the gun and a decisive revolutionary victory will be secured by the gun. And so, the article argued, on the day before the collapse of the Soviet Union, December 24, 1991, Kim Jong Il was appointed the Supreme Military Commander of the nation.
On this day, the curtains were raised on a fundamentally new military first period. It was a day of great revolutionary fortune for the people.

Military first referred to Kim Jong Ils policy of prioritizing the military above all. The military first policy signified a military dictatorship in which military force was used to overcome the various crises facing socialism. It could also be considered a de facto declaration of martial law. Kim Jong Il described the way in which the military dictatorship forcibly executed its powers as a military first revolution.


The military first revolution did not occur suddenly. In the political commentary quoted above, the author writes as if he was emotionally moved by the long, profound scientific preparations needed to achieve this revolution.
(During this preparatory period) a military ship was built which could withstand seas full of fire and the largest of waves. A crew was formed with the wise and stout-hearted members of the Peoples Army at its core. A sea course for this military first revolution was charted which led straight to triumph.

The editorial then boasted that, thanks to the military first revolution, North Korea triumphed over the U.S. and was able to extract a guarantee from the president of this world superpower in 1994. But this success was only one aspect of the military first revolution. The political commentary argued that another December 24th was necessary to overcome the collapse of the socialist states, the death of the Great Leader, and the tidal waves of trials in the march of hardship. This was December 24th of 1995. On this day, the Korean Peoples Army Honorable Chorus was established. The Korean Peoples Army Honorable Chorus was established by Kim Jong Il and was directly responsible to him. They appeared whenever Kim Jong Il had to stage something important. On this day, Kim Jong Il had performed a public inspection of this Honorable Chorus. The visit was described in the following:
The master of ceremonies was highly excited and made introductions with a trembling voice. Our Dear Leader, the Shogun, thought deeply as he listened to these words unusually carefully. His highnesss eyes shined bright in seeing how the Honorable Chorus was determined to make the clarion call of this desperate battle and become the locomotive of the military first revolution.

The editorial argued that all of North Korea had changed from this day.
The fire of the revolutionary military spirit flared across the nation. The military and the people would merge their thoughts and struggling spirits, unite tightly around the Shogun, and surround him like a barrier. The worst challenges had been overcome. All songs and revolutionary military songs, families and military families, and political activists were singing: Advance after me!

This was the banner of Kim Jong Ils class struggle and war against the hostile class. The military was to be stationed across North Korea in a direct military occupation of the nation. From the autumn of 1996, the military was stationed in cooperative farms while food distribution was terminated. Not only did the soldiers guard against those trying to steal crops with their guns, but the military openly stole food for themselves. A 38-year-old female farmer who had fled the country gave the following testimony:
The military men said they would protect the cooperative farms and sealed the grain fields off, guarding it with guns. Our grain production fell directly into their hands. We were told in the spring


that producers would keep 70 percent of the harvest, but by autumn, we were told it was going straight to the distribution system. When savings rice and military aid rice was taken away, our house was left with only 60 kg of rice - even though our house had three workers. (Watashi ha iesu wo shinjimasu, pg 206)

Although this woman was a farmer, she was forced to escape to China because of a lack of food. Until then, farmers had been considered to be less at risk from starvation, but during the march of hardship, they also faced the threat of famine. There is also testimony of soldiers attacking farmers:
The military would come in groups and attack peoples houses, steal, pigs, chickens, dogs and food supplies. If found, they would scream at us, We're risking our lives defending this country! What is the problem if we took one pig! Go away if you don't want to die! (Watashi ha iesu wo shinjimasu, pg 98 -99)

The people were soon terrified of the military, referring to them as communist bandits. The country had become no different from former Manchuria as marauding warlords and bandits dominated the area. The following testimony describes how the military dominated North Korea:
The government of North Korea is currently administered under complete military rule. Of course, this military control is supported by unthinking and uninformed people who have been brainwashed by Km Jong Il-ism. But since military rule is so complete, there is no way for the public to resist. Leader Kim Jong Il last year stated that only the military could be trusted. In North Korea today, soldiers swagger as if they own the country. The military manages companies, factories, and cooperative farms at gunpoint. Last year, the military intervened in the production of cooperative farms. In the autumn, they sealed off the grain fields, guarding them with armed sentries. Soldiers are also going in and out of large factories. The military also guards locomotives with armed soldiers. Disobeying an order given by soldiers leads to terrible consequences. North Korea is already a country owned by the military. Leader Kim Jong Il pays no attention to the famine of the people and only concerns himself with the military. North Korean television always reports news stories about Kim Jong Il concerning himself with the military. And so the military can dominate society as it wishes without any constraints. Ever since the military began to interfere in the economy, gunshots are heard all over the country. Last autumn in Musan (an area in North Hamgyong) a soldier guarding a field shot to death a 22-year-old boy who was stealing some corn. The soldier said he thought he had heard wild boars sneak into the field. Nobody can complain. It is the same ill the railways. When a train loaded with coal arrives in a station, the people rush to steal the coal for themselves. When that happens, a soldier fires into the air first. North Korean soldiers put three blanks in the magazine of their guns and then three live cartridges. If the crowds refuse to listen after firing the blanks, they then shoot live ammunition. If youre unlucky you will get


shot and you cant sue anybody. If somebody unaware of the situation hears this, they mistakenly believe that the soldiers are defending socialism. In fact it is usually the military personnel who break laws. If a superior officer says he wants to eat pork, than the soldier goes and steals a pig from the people for his superior. There are so many farmers who have been robbed by the soldiers, but they can say nothing. How can they resist when the men have guns? (Watashi ha iesu wo shinjimasu, pg 123-124)

During this period of the march of hardship and military first politics - in what was virtually a state of constant martial law - approximately three million North Koreans were killed. They were not killed by famine or natural disasters. Kim Jong Il had killed them. Many people outside of North Korea, deceived by Kim Jong Ils propaganda, are concerned that without humanitarian aid, more North Koreans could die of starvation. I would like to present figures to these people to explain how nobody should have died from starvation if it was not for Kim Jong Ils massacre. 3 They should not have starved to death

If our Great Leader was alive, we would not have had to suffer so much. Most North Korean exiles express this sentiment. One exile said:
When the Great Leader was alive, life was hard, but nobody starved to death. The worse the food shortage became, the more I missed the Great Leader. He would have done anything to protect the people from starvation. (Minzoku no kibo wo motomete (In search of hope for our people) South Korea, Jodo Shuppan, 1999, pg 124)

The North Korean people instinctively differentiate Kim Il Sung from Kim Jong Il. All of North Koreas current problems ultimately originated from Kim Il Sung as he had chosen Kim Jong Il as his successor. But the North Korean people missed Kim Il Sung because his sons Draconian rule appeared to be something only the devil incarnate could devise. Kim Jong Il sent several hundred thousand members of the hostile class to concentration camps and killed them secretly. He killed a horrific number of political enemies. He carried out public executions. Many North Korean exiles say that Kim Jong Ils public executions are particularly cruel. The head is shot in a particular way so that the brain splatters more graphically. But if Kim Il Sung was alive, he would not have massacred three million people by famine, something which he clearly detested. Kim Jong Il claimed the famines were caused by the damage of agricultural production due to natural floods and droughts. Statistics clearly demonstrates the fraudulence of his claims. I will first introduce Mr Natsios analysis. Please look at the following table.


Table 1 Domestic grain production, aid supplies, and commercial imports

Harvest year
(A) Food aid and imports Domestic grain production (B) Domestic grain production less 30% (A) + (B) Estimated food shortage (unit: tons)

903,374 4,100,000 2,870,000 3,773,374 26,626

1,171,665 2,840,000 2,160,000 3,331,665 468,335

1,321,528 2,660,000 2,190,000 3,511,528 288,472

3,480,000 2,960,000

* All figures are from annual FAO/WFP statistics ** Domestic production minus 30% is an estimate of the losses stemming from rot, attrition, and other losses. ***The domestic production for 1998-99 excludes fifty percent of the corn harvest.

Excluding grain to feed livestock, the minimum amount of grain necessary to sustain the whole North Korean population for a year is calculated at 3,800,000 tons. In contrast, North Koreas food shortage from 1995 to 1996 was merely 300,000 tons; from 1996 to 1997, only 470,000 tons; and from 1997 to 1998 only 290,000 tons. In other words, if the food aid was distributed to the whole population equitably, there was a possibility to avert famine. Mr Natsios writes regretfully,
A food aid program carefully targeted to people suffering most severely from the governments discontinuation of the PDS (Public Distribution System) would have saved hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives. This is what a well-run relief program is designed to do. But determining who was vulnerable, who had been left out, and who was dying had been the great challenge from the beginning of the relief effort. The traditional diagnostic tools of the famine relief discipline would have provided this data instantly, but the regime would not allow any of them to be used. The food aid program clearly did not relieve the famine as it peaked, because the bulk of food shipments did not arrive until after deaths had begun to subside. The humanitarian agencies did not target food aid to the most vulnerable, as they did not know for certain who they were. (The Great North Korean Famine, pg 185-186)

Please look at the statistics from the South Korea Unification Department. Table 2 Annual grain production
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 4.43 4.27 3.88 4.13 3.45 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 3.69 3.49 3.89 4.21 3.59

Source: South Korea Unification Department (unit: million tons) (estimated minimum requirement to avert famine is 3.8 million tons)

Mr Natsios claims that the minimum food supply necessary to sustain the North Korean population for a year is 3.8 million tons. According to statistics of the South Korea Unification Department, the years in which grain production fell under 3.8 million tons were 1996, 1997,


1998, and 2001. The shortages, ranging between 110,000 tons and 350,000 tons, should have been easily covered by international food aid. Between 500,000 tons and 1.54 million tons of annual foreign food aid was being shipped to North Korea since 1995. This is shown in table 3. If this food relief was properly distributed to the citizens, nobody should have starved to death. Table 3 International food aid (grain tons by year)
1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 75,000 734,207 505,780 831,198 1,036,390 894,749 1,542,440 1,069,860 975,062

(unit: tons) Figures taken from the FAO database

There is perhaps the following counter-argument: the figures used by Mr Natsios and the Unification Department did not reflect actual figures. They could argue that annual North Korean grain production was closer to two million tons. Even if we accepted this figure for the sake of argument, we should consider the following figures shown in Table 4. Table 4 Commercial imports of food (grain tons by year)
Year 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Tons of grain Value (USD millons) 1,214,478 3,268,464 2,597,129 3,340,360 1,197,390 2,533,560 2,420,606 3,088,681 3,429,964 2,615,678 5,342,262 190 398 491 515 159 686 594 707 693 526 661

*value of imports, rounded of to nearest USD million Figures taken from the FAO database

These are figures given by the FAO for the amount and value of North Koreas annual grain imports. The annual imports fluctuate between a range of 1.2 million tons to over 5 million 112

tons, worth some 700 million dollars. These are accurate UN figures which can neither be distorted nor hidden by the North Korean regime. In other words, the country has had enough money to purchase this amount of food from abroad. Food imports in 1997 were worth some 700 million dollars despite imports of only 3.1m tons. The reason that this years import values were higher than other years was that the country had purchased over 640,000 tons of more expensive, polished rice. They had spent 210 million dollars for this luxury rice which was likely to be distributed to the privileged classes. Over 2 million people died from starvation in 1997. The party cadres, who apparently had little disregarded for the wretched conditions of their starving country men, were splurging on expensive rice. This sort of extravagance commenced in 1995 as the first international aid began pouring into the country. Imports of rice and polished rice increased noticeably from that time. In 1993, 400,0000 tons; in 1994, 120,000 tons; and in 1995, the figure jumped up to 1.17 million tons; 680,000 tons in 1996; 640,000 tons in 1997, and 1.2 million tons in 1998; and sharply rising to 1.6 million in 2000. The privileged class was eating white rice thanks to gains made from international aid. These figures also completely discredit the propaganda of the Workers Party which claimed North Korea was unable to purchase food as a result of an economic blockade. They deceived the public with claims that imperialists were throwing surplus food into the ocean, saying they did not even have a single grain of rice to give. Werent the foreigners selling more than five million tons of rice to North Korea every year? Judging from FAO figures, the rice was being traded at international market prices. North Korean propaganda at the time claimed that foreign countries were inflating prices when selling anything to them. This again was obviously false. As I have stated earlier, one million tons of grains can feed 6.8 million people21 for a year. In 1997, over three million tons of grains had been imported. Even if domestic food production for that year was zero, 20.4 million people, in other words the entire population of North Korea, should have been able to eat for a year; there should have been no reason for a mass famine. Where, then, did then all this food go? The grains were hoarded by the privileged classes or sold on the black market. Kim Jong Il and the cadres of the Korean Workers Party are clearly the most corrupt and parasitic group of people on the face of this earth. Aside from these sources of food, North Korea also receives aid from China which is not made public. Even with the amounts which the FAO was able to track, China had sent over 1.77 million tons of food aid to North Korea between 1996 and 2002. Chinas annual grain
21 Assuming 400 grams of rice per day per person.


production is approximately 500 million tons per year. In an emergency, China could easily afford to share 500,000 or a million tons of food with North Korea. Considering these figures, there is no reason why the mass starvation should have occurred at all. In North Korea, the military possesses the most effective transportation methods and has privileged access to trucks and fuel. Kim Jong Il is also the supreme commander of the military. If he had any empathy for his hungry countrymen, he would have not permitted such mass starvation to occur in his small country. The fact that several million people had died against all these odds demonstrates that these were not natural deaths. 4 A cowards paradise - Strong and flourishing nation

On August 31st, 1998, a missile launched from North Korea fell into the Pacific Ocean off the Sanriku coast of Japan. The incident caused an uproar. The missile had struck only sixty kilometers northeast of the city of Misawa in Aomori prefecture. Though falling in international waters, commercial flights between North America and Japan fly over this area. I remember taking this air route on my way to the U.S. After passing Alaska and leaving the Pacific Ocean, the plane passes just south of the Aleutian Islands, skims the Kamchatka peninsula, and reaches Hokkaido. After 13 hours of being strapped in a small seat and watching the progress of the flight on the small video screen in the cabin, I would see a small island finally appear on the screen. The display would inform passengers that the island was Nakashibetsu in Hokkaido. It was at this point on my flights home from the U.S. that I could feel like I've really returned to Japan. The Sanriku coastline is a busy throughway for domestic flights as well. Over forty flights shuttle daily between Tokyo and Sapporo through this area. In addition, the end of August is the peak of saury fishing. Fishing fleets were busy operating in these waters when the missile fell. This was clearly an extreme provocation by North Korea. Even the Chief Cabinet Secretary) Nonaka Hiromu, who was normally known for being conciliatory to Pyongyang, protested: This is an outrage committed without prior notification and wholly unacceptable. Public opinion was inflamed. Many well-meaning Japanese and Koreans living in Japan had canvassed for donations on the street and created organizations to help the starving children of North Korea. These people, who had sent food packages, felt betrayed now that their goodwill was being returned with apparent hostility. The Japanese government had also delivered over a million tons of rice to North Korea. Mr Nonaka lamented that it had all been in vain. Many people wondered naively why North Korea did not spend money to feed their starving people instead of developing such missiles. It was a rational question to ask, but rationality docs not necessarily apply to North Korea.


In fact, the regime had been able to develop missiles precisely because of the famines. By allowing millions to die from starvation, Pyongyang was able to reduce the number of mouths to feed and acquire surplus food. The regime did not hesitate to unscrupulously use the famine conditions to demand international aid, which it diverted to its nuclear and missile programs. North Korea was thus able to develop and launch missiles with the range to strike Japan. The first nuclear crisis of 1993-1994 resulted purely from internal issues. The North Korean leadership had engaged the U.S. in a crisis to deflect domestic anti-government sentiment and food riots. By threatening the U.S. with a nuclear capability, internal tensions were directed against the U.S. It was at this point that Kim Jong Il tasted the sweetness of extortion, as the U.S., South Korea, and Japan agreed to help North Korea build two light-water nuclear reactors. Kim Jong Il and his aides were surprised by the total effectiveness of the nuclear threat against the weak-kneed Clinton administration. Official North Korean documents state:
Our Dear Leader the Shoguns decision of establishing socialism based on a strong and flourishing nation philosophy is a fantastic revolutionary strategy, unimagined by anybody and unprecedented in the history of mankind. It is a great program of nation-building that millions ceaselessly admire. (Shakaishugi kvosei taikoku no kensetsu shiso, Ideology of constructing a socialist kyosei taikoku, Pyongyang Shakai Kagaku Shuppansha, 2000, pg 5)

The authors of this document were members of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Philosophy Institute, the highest authority of North Korean ideology. These were the close aides of Kim Jong Il, but even they were surprised by Kim Jong Ils outlandish strategy. Simply put, Kim Jong Ils strong and flourishing nation strategy was to keep his regime alive by creating a military dictatorship, controlling the population at gunpoint, and entrenching himself with missiles and nuclear warheads. The launching of the missile which could land off the Japanese coast signaled that Kim Jong Il was in the final stages of his long-term strategy. As socialist governments disintegrated from the end of 1989 and the Soviet Union collapsed, North Korea also faced a crisis of disintegration itself. Kim Jong Il had then hit upon a farfetched strategy for survival in which the military became the pillar of the regime, administering all, in what he called military first politics. Generally speaking, the party rules supreme in socialist countries; the military must obey the instructions of the party. But in Kim Jong Ils North Korea, the military is above the party. In February 1997, it was declared that the revolutionary military is the main body of the revolution, its core driving force. The military is, in fact, the people, the state, and the party. This was the third year of the march of hardship. Corpses were piling up in South Hamgyong and North Hamgyong in the meantime.


Massive investments were made in the military. Kim Jong Il paid little heed to the basics of governance - the stability of the people and their livelihood - and showed even less interest in the escalating suffering of the public. Kim Jong Il was later quoted as saying:
The enemy has said that the launching of earth satellites must have easily cost several hundred million dollars. They are right. I thought how wonderful it would have been if I could have used this money to improve the peoples lives. I knew that the people could not eat satisfactorily and live comfortably, but I decided that these funds be used for this project for the sake of protecting the pride and destiny of our nation and race and the future strength of our fatherland. (Labor Daily, April 22, 1999)

Earth satellites was the North Korean term for the Taepodong missile. There must have been popular discontent that such money was not spent to feed the starving. But, of course, one word of protest in North Korea could send a person straight to a concentration camp. In a small booklet written by Kim Jong Ils aides, published by Gaikoku Bunshutsu Shuppan in Pyongyang, Kim Jong Il also stated the following.
The Shogun one day emphasized that if the country was not able to strengthen its munitions because of current difficulties, it would no longer be able to defend socialism. He said that the country can survive without cakes and candy, but can not survive without weapons and ammunition. (Kin Shonichi sengun seiji, Kim Jong Ils Military-first Politics, Pyongyang Gaikoku Bunshutsu Shuppan, pg 60, Japanese version)

The phrase strong and flourishing nation began circulating in the country around the time of the missile launch in August 1998. Strong and flourishing meant that the country was to become a great power in all arenas: ideology, politics, military and the economy. It was apparently another way of referring to the military dictatorship regime which Kim Jong Il had then been calling military first politics until then. On September 5, 1998, the constitution was reformed during the First Session of the Tenth Supreme Peoples Assembly and the traditional post of President was abolished, while Kim Jong Il was appointed the Chairman of the National Defense Commission. According to Kin Shonichi Sengun Seiji,
The Chairman of the National Defense Commission broadly commanded the nations politics, military, and economy; defended the socialist state system and the peoples destiny. The Chairman has the highest responsibility of strengthening national defense and strengthening the overall country. The Chairman holds the crucial position of representing the glory of the fatherland and the pride of the people. (pg 71)


Fearing that a civil uprising would occur and kill him during the successive collapse of socialist states, Kim Jong Il staged a fight with the U.S. and deflected the food riots into an anti-U.S. movement. This gave him some breathing space. Kim Jong Il then eliminated his domestic enemies which would one day attempt to kill him by starving them. All this was the result of his cowardice. This fear drove him to create a dictatorship prioritizing the military and defense industry. That was the essence of a strong and flourishing nation. One would think Kim Jong Il would be satisfied with the structure he had created. In fact, this was not enough. In the November 14th, 1998 issue of the Labor Daily, an article claimed:
National defense is not only the core area of national politics, but the most important affair of the state. Defending Shogun Kim Jong Ils politics to death is the most important affair of the state for the people today. Seiron, minzoku no saidai kokuji (Political comment, the most important affairs of the state))

This editorial clearly stated that the mission of the military and national defense was to defend Kim Jong Il. In the text I quoted earlier - Shakaishugi kyosei taikoku no kensetsu shisothis position is even more explicitly stated.
The socialist strong and flourishing nation is the crystal formed from the spirit of defending our lord to the death... The safety of the leader is the destiny of the fatherland and of the people. Various class enemies are constantly resisting in vain by trying to strike down the leadership of the revolution. By defending the leaders safety, each and every individual can wage a fierce class struggle in the decisive battle which may determine the destiny of the fatherland and the Korean people. To defend the leader means one is ready to give up ones life for the leader without regret.

Other bizarre arguments were put forward, including the spirit of the bullet and bomb. The following is taken from the same book.
The spirit of the bullet and bomb is to become a bullet and an exploding bomb that would terrorize enemies when defending the safety of the leader. This is the spirit of defending the leader to death. The spirit of the bullet and the bomb, this spirit of self-destruction, will guarantee the highest level of safety for the leader. It is the spirit of unparalleled self-sacrifice, conducted with heightened revolutionary caution and sublime self-awareness at all times. It is the spirit which laughs in the face of death, the most violent spirit of defending the leader to the death. When all people fully take to their heart the spirit of defending the leader to death and lock their shoulders to form an impregnable fortress of a nation to defend the leader, only then can the people claim with pride the greatness of this nation.

The editorial demanded the people become the stones of a fortress. During the medieval ages of Japan, General Takeda Shingen famously said that People are castles, people are stone


walls. Takeda was figuratively talking about the value of human talent and teamwork. But Kim Jong Il was literally ordering and forcing soldiers and civilians to create a human fortress in his defense. Was there ever such a cowardly and heartless statesman in all time, even in ancient or medieval times? Hwang Jang Yop describes the young men who had been forced to become Kim Jong Ils bullet and a bombs.
These young men are conscripted for thirteen years in the military until they turn thirty. They are trained to die as bullets and bombs for Kim Jong Il. This means that a large part of North Korean youth lose their opportunity to discover their talents and pursue their dreams. Instead, they miss the most important time of their lives for the sake of Kim Jong Il alone. During this military conscription, these youth lose their precious humanity. They are trained to revere violence and the kind of slave mentality which surrenders to power unconditionally. They are trained to kill and to violate human rights. (Zoku - Kin Shonichi he no semen fukoku kvoken lli obieruna (Declaration of war on Kim Jong Il - Do not fear the mad dog) Bungei Shunju, 2000, pg 97)

The spirit of the bullet and bomb appeared on New Years Day of 1995 according to Kin shonichi sengun seiji. On this day, Kim Jong Il came out and ordered all military officers and soldiers to train themselves to become the bullets and bombs that would defend their leader to death. This was five months after Kim Il Sungs death. One of the first things that Kim Jong Il did after being freed of all constraints was to order his subjects to become bullets and bombs to defend himself. He lectured the soldiers about the spirit of self-destruction and the most vehement spirit of protecting their leader to death. A strong and flourishing nation - a cowards paradise - had been created. 5 The vow of the North Korean refugee woman

North Korea is a country which has no value existing on this earth. It is the most shameful hell of mankind. A dignified voice echoed through a hall packed with audience.
This is a barbarous society. The most basic and elementary needs of food, clothing and shelter, let alone human dignity, rights, and freedoms, are not guaranteed. Children who cry from hunger are beaten to death for making noise and the starving eat the corpse of the child, hallucinating from hunger and seeing it as a piece of meat. It is that sort of horrifying society.

This woman in her thirties was an exile from North Korea. Cho Yong Ok (pseudonym) had fled from North Hamgyong in 1999 and had reached South Korea after living in hiding for several years in China. She was talking to a meeting of exiles held in Tokyo in March 2003. To avoid being recognized, she wore sunglasses and a deep-set hat. We had invited her along with eleven other North Korean refugees to Japan with the help of the association Kitachosen kikokusha (North Korean returnees) (Representative Yamada 118

Fumiaki) and the journalist Ishimaru Jiro. We had held meetings in Osaka and Tokyo so these returnees could testify about the conditions in North Korea. The twelve of them were children who had been deceived by the sweet words of North Korea and Chosen Soren to return from Japan to the earthly paradise in the 1960s. Ms Cho spoke with surprising forcefulness despite her slender frame.
Both my parents have starved to death. My nephew also starved to death. This is a land without dreams, hopes, or a future. The country has taken away without exception our youth, our happiness, our family, our children, and even our regrets. I could neither laugh nor cry. I did not want to live ever again in a place like this. I escaped this dark nation of North Korea hoping to taste true freedom, even if just for one day, even if it meant I had to go to the ends of the world.

Her Korean was simple, forceful and beautiful like a poem. She had escaped to the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Zone of China. She said that this place, which she had risked her life to reach, was also another prison. She had to hide from the watchful eyes of the Chinese public security agents, avoid traps aimed at selling her into prostitution, and bear prejudice and disdain. With neither home nor money, with nothing to rely on, I wandered in sadness, begging to survive. Her anger and sharp criticism of Kim Jong Ils North Korea was apparent.
Currently Kim Jong Il, under the name of military first politics is producing nuclear arms and missiles using the international aid and funds acquired with the bait of famines. He is threatening world peace and even performing his own little play of war.

Ms Chos testimony differed from others in the way it incisively questioned the responsibility of world opinion which had merely watched and done little to improve the terrible conditions of the North Korean people.
I will borrow this place and time to ask about the conscience of the world. What crime have we committed for having to suffer such a terrible fate? We were born under the same sky as the same people. Shouldn't we be allowed to lead the same life? But why must we, our parents, our relatives, the North Korean people, have to wander the earth and die alone?

I introduced myself to her later, at a gathering for exiles at a Korean restaurant in Tokyo. I told her I was investigating the North Korean famines and asked her for an interview in Seoul to hear her story in more detail. I met her again and learned about her severe famine experiences during the mid-90s - when she was living near Chingjao in North Hamgyong. She also told me of a o-atlmatic experience of participating in killing babies. The following is Ms Chos story:
When I remember that period while lying down to sleep, I would suddenly leap up in fear... The food shortages increased rapidly after Kim Il Sung died in 1994 and the first starvation deaths began appearing. In these conditions, my father began to fast, believing that he would be the next to


go. He stopped eating in order to lessen the burden on the household since we had only enough food for one meal a day. He drank only water, suffered diarrhea, and was rapidly becoming weak. In August 1997, my father passed away. My mother was bedridden from illness. I had an older sister living in the fanning village. My sister hit her seven-year old boy with a clothes pole to scold him for not eating his gruel made of grass and corn powder. This was the only food available. Why dont you eat? Do you want to be hit again? My nephew eventually drank the gruel, crying and terrified by my sisters rage. He starved to death soon after. In these horrible conditions, my sister nursed a new life. It was an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy. My sister became half-deranged and tried to force a miscarriage by different methods. But the baby in her stomach kept on growing. One rainy evening in July of 1998, in the most depressing hour of night, I helped my sister give birth with the help of a neighbor. My sister had gone through excruciating pain to give birth, but she did not even want to look at the baby. With her back against me, still lying down, she told me. 'Please go and throw it out as we had planned. The babys father is dead, its brother is dead, and its mother is on the brink of death. You will die next and I will probably have to die as well. What point is there for a baby to be born now? I can't raise it. Its going to die anyway so it would be far more fortunate to let it die right now.' My neighbor and I wrapped the bloody baby into a plastic bag as planned earlier. We left it in the corner of the room until it stopped crying. The rain continued to fall. The baby continued to cry as the rain leaked into the room. The baby cried for over two hours, making me wonder where in that small body it had such strength. We sat there vacantly like rocks until the crying ended.

After finishing her story, Ms Cho seemed to be shivering and sunk back into the darkness of her memories.
I will probably never forget that babys cry for the rest of my life.

Ms Chos misfortune began when her mother, a Korean living in Japan, returned to North Korea. Ms Chos mother returned to North Korea from Osaka in the beginning of the 1960s. Her father, who had been running a small factory had passed away, and she had decided there was no reason to stay in Japan further. She had forced her older mother and two brothers in their teens to go back to North Korea with her. Being a single girl around twenty, she eventually married a local youth, giving birth to Cho Yang Ok. The youth was of a good element (political background) and a member of the core class. He was a student of the elite Kim Il Sung General University. But since returnees are classified in the lowest hostile class, the youth was forced to quit his university in the fourth year and demoted to the status of a coal mine laborer.


My father had studied in the department of Party History at an elite university. This department was closest to Kim Il Sung in North Korea. But my father ridiculed it as the Department of Rumors and Falsehoods. He probably could not stand the history of Kim Il Sung which was based on lies. My father hated with all his heart Kim Il Sung. My family had a television when few households had televisions. Our neighbors would come and watch movies. When Kim Il Sung came on the screen, he would turn off the television or fiddle with it so that the screen would become cloudy. My mother and I were terrified and tried to restrain him, but he would not listen. At the time I had been chosen as a cadre for sarochong tolgyotte (Advance Troops for the League of Socialist Working Youth) and so I could not bear my father complaining about the party. He often argued with mother. Since we were already under close surveillance as returnees, we could easily have been branded as counterrevolutionaries and sent away, she argued. But now I understand why father was so angry. He saw through the mistake of Kim Il Sung. My father had studied not only from Kim Il Sung University but also from the International Relations University - and had gone to the Soviet Union for studies as an elite student. He spoke five languages and spoke in Japanese with my mother when he did not to want others to understand their conversation. How can a country develop by putting such talent to use in a coal mine? Just because he had fallen in love with a returnee... My father was noble in that he knew what fate awaited him and did not regret this decision. Years later he was given a chance to restore his honor and asked to work once again for the central authorities, but he refused immediately.

- How did your mother feel about returning to North Korea?

When my mother arrived in North Korea, she immediately realized that she had been tricked. But my mother was strong. She decided she would have to get on with life in this system. She stitched many things, a skill she had learned in Japan, and was well-liked. But a jealous local snitched on her, accusing her of jangsa (business). Mother said she was not doing business, but service. She then brought out the selected works of Kim Il Sung, and pointed out how the Korean Workers Patty espoused the policy of serving the people. Mother owned five goats which she milked to feed us. She sold the left over goat milk in secret. When the food conditions became difficult, she even ran a kind of cafeteria. But when she was reported upon and the party criticized her, she responded by asking what was wrong with serving the people, once again quoting Kim Il Sung to save herself. Looking at my mother, I realized that capitalism is a system which could draw out the capabilities of the individual. In a socialist system, even if a person had the ability of ten, the party would tell him to only do one and nothing else. This is the reason why socialist states collapsed one after another. How could such systems develop? Mother once threw my father when they were fighting. She had learned judo when living in Japan to protect herself from the racial prejudice against Koreans.

She laughed for the first time when saying this. Ms Cho suddenly recalled that she knew how to sing a Japanese song. 121

- Which song? She began to sing. Aenakunatte hajimete shitta umiyori fukai koigokoro It was Matsuo Kazukos Saikai! (Reunion) I learned for the first time After being separated That my love was deeper than the ocean I didn't know I loved you so Oh, oh, even the geese do not know The song was often sung during the student movements of the 1960s together with Dare yori mo kimi wo aisu (I love you more than any other). The melody and the lyrics, sung in Matsuo Kazukos deep, sorrowful voice, came back to me immediately. I was taken back to that period and could even smell the streets of Hatogaya, Shibuya, in Tokyo where I was living. - Why do you know this song? My mother sang it often. Promises that returnees could go freely between Japan and North Korea were false, and the returnees soon realized they could never go back to Japan. What was it that her mother learned for the first time after being separated? What love had she left in Japan? Or was it thoughts of Japan? I switched the topic to the problem of famine. - Japanese newspapers reported around 1997 that Kim Jong Il said the nation can be rebuilt if six million people survive. Did he really say this?
I have heard that Kim Jong Il said There are so many paeksong22, we can let them be. Kim Il Sungs philosophy is that there is no point in giving food to the common people. It is only necessary to feed the important people. The important people that he is thinking about are the 1.5 million members of the military; 500,000 members of the State Security Department; the cadres of the Korean Workers Party; and workers in the main munitions industries. Add these up and you get about roughly five to six million people.

- Is there a chance that Kim Jong Ils regime would collapse?

I am sure there is. Many high-ranking military officers are looking for such an opportunity, though it may not be the right time just now. I have heard such talk from my fathers uncle who was a highranking officer in the Peoples Army. They all understand that the country will be ruined by Kim Jong Il.

- But didn't your fathers family and relatives become members of the hostile class as a result of your fathers demotion?
22 Common people


My father erased his name from the family register and so his relatives were spared. Since my father was in the core class, his uncles all hold important posts. One of his uncles in the military had come to our house when Kim Il Sung had died. I overheard them talking secretively that Kim Jong Il had killed Kim Il Sung and that such rumors were spreading in Pyongyang. Since at the time I was a loyal member of the party and the leader, I did not believe in these rumors. But when I was in hiding in China after fleeing the country, I read an article in a magazine arguing that Kim Jong Il had killed his father. I learned only then that my father and uncle had been correct. In other words, if such rumors are being whispered by the North Korean people, Kim Jong Ils days are numbered. My uncle is retired but he has many men under him. There are those with conscience. When the time comes , they will act for sure. Above all, three million people starved to death. The people may not know the truth yet, but will come to realize it eventually. In their anger and hatred, they will never forgive Kim Jong Il.

She confided to me a certain plan to overthrow the Kim Jong Il regime. I will omit the details for reasons of security, but it was a surprising one. She said she was creating a network and raising funds in order to pursue this plan and rescue ten of her relatives on her mothers side who were still in North Korea. She juggled three jobs, working from five in the morning to eleven at night. Her industriousness seems incredible, but she said it was nothing compared to the time she was a member of the League of Socialist Working Youth.
Please watch us until the day that the evil society of North Korea is eradicated from the face of this earth. Push us forward and let us stand in the very front of this struggle.

These were her concluding remarks at the testimony meeting in Tokyo in March 2003. I was touched by these words - to be pushed from behind and to let us stand in the front linen, I asked her what she had meant.
As I said, what need is there to allow an earthly hell with no value to continue to exist? The faster it is destroyed, the more comrades we can save.


Final Chapter
What must be done now 1 Japan must not normalize national ties with Kim Jong Il

On May 22nd, 2004, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi revisited North Korea. After this second visit to Pyongyang, he began to talk about normalizing bilateral ties within the next two years of my tenure, He has later moved this goal forward, hoping to normalize ties within a year. Koizumi appeared to be in a hurry, as if Kim Jong Il had told him something during their latest meeting. I largely agree on the necessity for normalizing relations between Japan and North Korea. 'The country is, after all, our neighbor, and it is an abnormal state of affairs that we did not have bilateral ties with North Korea for the last half century. But the U.S. also does not maintain bilateral ties with North Korea. Even South Korea, a country inhabited by the same peoples, do not have normal interactions with North Korea, such as people freely traveling or sending letters and packages between the two countries. I myself have also claimed the need and worked towards normalizing bilateral ties ever since joining the Japan-North Korea Association, an amity organization with North Korea, in 1959. I am aware as anyone of the importance of normalizing ties between Japan and North Korea. Why has normalization of ties not been possible in the first place? Ultimately it is the result of U.S. policy and the division of the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. acknowledged the Republic of Korea, while viewing the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea as an enemy and at one point had even waged war against the DPRK. Even though a cease-fire exists today, hostilities could potentially resume at any time. Japan normalized ties with South Korea after signing the Japan-Korea Treaty in 1965 at the behest of the U.S. Naturally, Japan should have also normalized ties with North Korea, but the U.S. did not permit this. Forty years have passed since then, and this diplomatic restraint on Japan still exists. Forming friendly ties with any nation deemed an enemy state of the U.S. will be considered an act of hostility. If Japan normalizes ties with North Korea, Japan will be expected to pay indemnities for its colonial occupation which is believed to be between one to six trillion yen (the Japanese government and Kim Jong Il refer to these indemnities as economic cooperation funds). Such a sudden influx of money is expected to boost North Koreas military and economic strength considerably. The question is whether the U.S. will permit this to happen. In 1990, Kanemaru Shin, Vice-President of the Liberal Democratic Party and mafia don of the political world, went to Pyongyang with the vice-chairman of the Socialist Party. He asked if there was anything he could do. A three-party joint declaration was signed with Kim Jong 124

Il and plans were made to normalize bilateral ties. U.S. authorities were not happy with the incident, and Kanemaru later died under arrest, accused of political corruption. Will Prime Minister Koizumi be all right? Can the Japanese government, shackled by the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, challenge the U.S. so directly? I am opposed to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. I have argued for fifty years that this treaty should be abolished and all U.S. bases and troops should be withdrawn from Japanese territory. Normalization of ties with the DPRK will be possible only when Japan frees itself from U.S. control. Unless U.S. policy changes fundamentally, there are no other options. Normalizing ties with North Korea can only achieved with an end to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the complete independence of Japan. Can Prime Minister Koizumi, referred to as the lap dog of the U.S., carry out such a break with the U.S.? One must recall that Koizumi could not even resolve the Jenkins case. He is in no position to exaggerate and boast about things he could not possibly achieve. I have argued these points in The Country of Kidnappings, Nuclear Weapons, and Famines - North Korea.23 I leave my readers to pursue the details in that work. Even before discussing how to normalize bilateral ties, Japan has to carefully evaluate its future partner. Even if the U.S. did not prohibit Japan from establishing diplomatic relations with North Korea, Japan should not normalize ties with Kim Jong Ils regime. The partnership is simply unacceptable for the following reasons. 1 As I have made clear in this book, Kim Jong Il is a murderer who has killed several million North Koreans. He is a murderer who should be brought before an international court for breaking conventions on genocide. How can Japan shake hands with such a human being? In addition, Kim Jong Il has acquired humanitarian aid supplies through the deceptive pretext of famine, and exchanged this aid into money which was invested into North Koreas nuclear and missile program. All of this deception was undertaken for the security of the Kim clan. It is clearer than the light of day what will happen if we hand over large amounts of money to such a leader. The lowest estimate for the economic cooperation funds demanded by North Korea is said to amount to one trillion yen (10 billion U.S. dollars). North Koreas annual budget is around 200 million U.S. dollars24, hence the economic funds from Japan will be worth 50 years of North Koreas national budget. Some reports state that Pyongyang is demanding six trillion yen in funds. 2 Kim Jong Il represents neither the nation nor the party, and an issue as important as diplomatic relations should not be discussed with such a man. Although Kim Jong Il considers himself the leader of North Korea, there are no provisions in the constitution which grants him the authority to represent the nation. He merely commands the military as the
23 (Rachi to kaku to gashi no kuni Kitachosen), Bunshun Shinsho, March 2003. 24 Assuming an exchange rate of 200 won to one US dollar.


Chairman of the National Defense Commission. Kim Jong Il also considers himself the General Secretary of the Korean Workers Party, but a General Secretary must be elected in a general assembly. The general assembly has not been held since October of 1990. If Kim Jong Il had been elected as the General Secretary, when was it? And in which general assembly? 3 Kim Jong Il is a person who has de facto scrapped the Pyongyang Declaration signed on September 17th, 2002. Prime Minister Koizumi has said that the normalization of bilateral ties will be pursued based on an already scrapped declaration. But what has been scrapped has been scrapped, whatever Koizumi may say. It should now be clear to the reader that Japan should not normalize ties with Kim Jong Ils North Korea for the above three reasons. In any case, a number of things must be resolved before normalizing ties. 2 Resolution to the kidnappings and total abolition of the nuclear program

Reconciliation and trust are necessary for two individuals or neighbors on bad terms to resume a new relationship; this is no different for restoring ties between nations. International common sense dictates that Japan reflect upon its past colonial occupation and pay appropriate indenmities for the suffering it had caused during its occupation of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea must above all fully resolve the kidnapping cases of Japanese nationals. Full resolution will occur only when all kidnapped Japanese are returned to Japan and when North Korea provides an explanation for the causes of death and return remains of the kidnapped that unfortunately died. Relatives of the kidnapped individuals who had died in North Korea should be allowed to visit their graves and be given adequate indemnities. Those responsible for ordering and executing the kidnapping should also be punished. The 100,000 Japanese-Koreans and their family members who returned to North Korea in the 1960sdeceived by the Chosen Sorens sweet-talk of a paradise on earthare Japanese nationals, whatever Pyongyang may claim. They have been detained for forty years. The North Korean government should immediately revise its anti-humanitarian policy of not permitting these Japanese-Koreans to return to Japan and temporarily allow them all to return. Japanese-Korean family members who stayed in Japan are able to travel freely between North Korea and Japan with the permission of the Japanese government. The Japanese government should demand reciprocal treatment for Japanese-Koreans in North Korea. The Japanese government should forcefully demand that Japanese wives living in North Korea, as well as their husbands, should be allowed to come and go freely to Japan. Japanese-Koreans who returned to North Koreathough they may have gone to North Korea on their own willshould also be granted this right of travel. A large number of these 126

returnees to North Korea strongly believe that they had been deceived and want to return to Japan. Some method should be devised so that these people could return to Japan. The Japanese people should also not take a narrow view of the issue and consider these returnees as troublesome people coming to Japan. If they hadn't been deceived into going to North Korea, they would have been living in Japan with their families. I am hoping that these returnees would be welcomed warmly into Japan and treated no different from Japanese citizens. Every year, Japan warmly welcomes birds worn out by several thousand kilometers of migration. Why can't the Japanese government do the same for Japanese-Koreans who had been deceived and forced to suffer the bitterest hardships in North Korea? Such a humanitarian measure will contribute considerably to the international community. How much more meaningful is welcoming these North Korean Japanese-Koreans compared to wasting massive amounts of tax money to send the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq against the wishes of the majority of the population? Resolving the nuclear problem will also be indispensable for establishing a framework for the normalization of bilateral ties. The fourth provision of the Pyongyang Declaration states:
Both sides, for the sake of comprehensively resolving the nuclear problem in the Korean Peninsula, have recognized to observe all relevant international agreements.

On October 17th, 2002, a month after publishing the Pyongyang Declaration, the U.S. State Department announced that the North Korean government had admitted to the production of highly-enriched uranium for use in nuclear arms. Once again, Prime Minister Koizumi had been completely deceived. The promises in the Declaration had been de facto broken even before the ink had dried on the declaration. In October of 1994, the U.S. had signed the Framework Agreement, making North Korea promise to freeze its nuclear program and, in return, offering to build two light-water reactors and supply heavy oil to them. After it became evident that the North Korean side had broken its promise, the U.S. terminated all aid. The Framework Agreement had been de facto scrapped. As a matter of course, the Pyongyang Declaration, which was based on the Framework Agreement, had also lost its validity. Prime Minister Koizumi, on his return visit to Pyongyang which had only recently defiantly admitted to its nuclear program, once again stated his intentions to normalize ties with North Korea. He announced plans to award the regime with 250,000 tons of rice and 10 million dollars worth of medicine. This is throwing good money after bad. There is the possibility that Prime Minister Koizumis rash behavior could lead to normalization of bilateral ties. In this case, Kim Jong Il would gain massive funds which will be invested in nuclear weapons and missiles that will be aimed at Japan. The U.S. had already been deceived in a similar way when it had trusted Pyongyangs promise of freezing its nuclear program and had aided North Korea in constructing two light-water reactors and faithfully delivered an annual 500,000 tons of oil. But Pyongyang turned around 127

and admitted in defiance that it had continued its nuclear program, leaving the U.S. with few counter-measures. North Korea must resolve the kidnapping cases and completely abandon its nuclear program. Unless these two conditions are reached, we can not even talk about the normalization of ties between Japan and North Korea. 3 Only pressure will force the Norths hand

In order to resolve conflicts between nations through negotiation, not war, pressure is necessary. Negotiation, unaccompanied by pressure, is nothing more than a chat over tea. Japanese public pressure forced Pyongyang to allow five kidnapped Japanese nationals and seven of their children to return home. The association of the kidnapped victims families played a central role in the process, becoming a centripetal force which generated the tremendous pressure of the broader Japanese public. When the kidnappings first occurred, nobody paid any attention to the victims families. Some family members, suspecting that their vanished relatives had drowned in the ocean, searched for their bodies on their own along beaches and cliffs. Some brought long bamboo poles to the cliff sides and poked under unreachable reefs for the body of their kin. There were others who walked all over Japan, not knowing where to look, in a desperate search for their lost relative. I had once accompanied Mr and Mrs Yokota in their search for their kidnapped daughter, Megumi, all the way to Kochi prefecture. The couple spent some twenty years crisscrossing Japan from cast to west, following the slightest hint of their daughters whereabouts. They would confide to me: Perhaps we can find out where Megumi is ... The family members of the Japanese nationals kidnapped by North Korea eventually formed a national organization on March 25th, 1997, which became a dramatic starting point for their movement. This organization was born largely a result of the activities of Hyomoto Tatsukichi25. Mr Byomoto became very close to the family members of the kidnapped and had researched the cases across the country, gathering data and proof. The family association, together with the strong support of the Japanese public, began to pressure politicians to act on this issue. As a result, Kim Jong Il realized that he would not be able to continue to simply deny the situation. Kim Jong Il decided he would admit to the kidnappings and then establish bilateral ties in order to gain indemnities from Japan. North Korea first secretly approached Mori Yoshiro (the prime minister at the time) in January 2001 to sound out Japans stance on resolving the kidnapping issue. Mori dispatched diet man Nakagawa Hidenao as a secret envoy to the negotiations. When Nakagawa arrived at the specified location in Singapore, Kim Jong Ils right-hand man Kan Suk Ju (First Foreign Vice Minister) was waiting for him. This is
25 Former secretary for the Upper House Diet Member Hashimoto Atsushi of the Japan Communist Party


the same man who has appeared several times in this book. This is the man who succeeded in finagling two light-water reactors from the U.S., and secured nearly one million tons of rice from various countries on the pretext of the flood in 1995. Kan proposed a deal with the Japanese officials which would let the kidnapped nationals return to Japan. Former Prime Minister Mori should have originally visited Pyongyang. But as he was forced to step down for his gaffes and improper behavior, the opportunity fell to Prime Minister Koizumi. In other words, the negotiations could have been undertaken by anyone. But Prime Minister Koizumi boasted the kidnapping cases are now finally beginning to be resolved because I went to Pyongyang. Koizumi was under the illusion that he was directing these developments. I have only scorn for his rash act. In my book, The Country of Kidnappings, Nuclear Weapons, and Famines North Korea, I wrote that,
In the fables, a foolish rooster believes that he is responsible for the end of night and the ascent of the sun because he crows to announce the coming of dawn each morning. Prime Minister Koizumi reminds me of this foolish rooster. (pg 95)

Political campaigning becomes pressure and this pressure is what forces Kim Jong Ils hand. To resolve a crime of the state, the whole nation must be involved. Prime Minister Koizumi negotiated with Kim Jong Il as the representative of the nation. But the foolish leader did not realize that public pressure drove these negotiations; he was not driving these developments. Koizumi appeared convinced that he had a monopoly over the kidnapping issue. After September 17th (the day of the Pyongyang Declaration), the public was forced to witness a ghastly parade of vested interest groups and self-promoters mill around Koizumi and the kidnapping issue. The Japanese public was misled into criticizing the kidnapping victims I family association who were critical of Koizumi, Our Dear Rooster. Relatives of the kidnapping victims criticized Prime Minister Koizumi during his briefing to them on the night of May 22, 2004, after Koizumi returned from his second visit to Pyongyang. Yokota Shigeru said, This is the worst possible outcome. Iizuka Shigeo said, The prime minister has acted like a child on an errand, no, worse. Masumoto Teruaki said, Does the Prime Minister not have any pride? All of these comments were justified. But the public, seeing this criticism, mailed and telephoned in complaints to the family members for their comments about the prime minister. These individuals who attacked the relatives of the kidnapped were probably speaking out of their misunderstanding and would one day realize the truth. The reality is that it had been possible to corner Kim Jong Il and make him confess to the kidnappings only because of the families' vociferous protests and their efforts to raise public awareness of this problem. The family association had contributed greatly to Japan by revealing North Koreas malevolent system and regime. Have any of the past prime ministers 129

and politicians, or even foreign ministry bureaucrats, done a fraction of what they have achieved? As Prime Minister Koizumi deluded himself, the public also fell into the illusion that it would be able to achieve its goals by simply pleading with the prime minister for solutions. When the focus shifts from an active political movement to petitioning politicians, public pressure naturally weakens. A sort of upheaval occurred within the family association and the saving society (a national conference to save Japanese kidnapped by North Korea). This is an unfortunate, but temporary syndrome in most political activities. After much political lobbying and civil action, a group succeeds in sending a representative to the National Diet. From this moment) the group weakens and crumbles. The lobbyists felt theyve finished their job after having succeeded in sending in their representative - and their main activity becomes one of petitioning. The diet man becomes their contractor, and the movement forgets their lobbying activities. I have bitterly experienced this cycle many times. It is therefore necessary, above all, for the family association of the kidnapped to return to the roots of their movement which made negotiations possible. Negotiations divorced from a grass-roots movement are merely deal-making. This is the difference between Prime Minister Koizumis first and second visit to North Korea. Koizumi forgot about resolving the kidnapping issue and deceived himself into believing that he was running the show. He leaned towards normalizing of bilateral ties rather than resolving the kidnapping issue. This led Koizumi to try and pander to Kim Jong Il, offering to supply 250,000 tons of rice and 100 million dollars of medicine. It is necessary to go back to the roots. Political campaigning is the basis for everything. The citizens who supported the family association were able to bring Kim Jong Il to heel. Now that the efficacy of public pressure has been proven, the Japanese public should be confident in using more public pressure to effect change in North Korea. There are those who claim that such pressure and sanctions will absolutely not work with North Korea. There are those like Wada Haruki, apologists for North Korea, who argue that bringing pressure against Pyongyang may trigger a war. When a TV mediator asked him what should be done if North Korea did not respond to negotiations, he said The more they refuse to talk, the more necessary are negotiations. Politicians should not play with words and use them so flippantly. 4 Recall international sanctions which abolished apartheid

The world has legally and peacefully changed the policy of another nation through pressure. We must recall the experience of South Africas notorious apartheid policy (policy of discrimination against blacks, the modern version of black slavery).


The sanctions against the South African white minority governments apartheid policy were peaceful, legal, and just actions based on UN resolutions. North Korea has threatened to treat such sanctions as a declaration of war. If a country is going to respond with illegal violence to peaceful and legal actions of justice, then the international community should simply) as Hwang Jang Yop argues) beat down the mad dog with a club. The following is taken from an essay which I submitted to Rachi, kokka, jinken - Kitachosen dokusai taisei wo kokusai hotei no ba he (Kidnappings, government, human rights - bringing the North Korean dictatorship to an international court) (Edited by Nakano Tetsuzo, Fujii Kazuyuki, Omura Shoten, 2003). In 1989 when the apartheid system was still going strong, the Sanction Report was submitted to the meeting of Commonwealth Foreign Ministers (London Penguin Special 1989).
We are convinced that sanctions are the most effective, peaceful way of ending apartheid. Apartheid must end. And it will end. Even though millions may have to sacrifice their lives, it will end. But apartheid will end by peaceful methods through the process of genuine negotiations.

The report describes the the process of genuine negotiations. The sanctions placed on South Africa by the UN included embargoes on weapons, oil, and hi-tech equipment) an end to all South African trade, and other measures. The report argued that these were inadequate. The report called for various governments to enforce sanctions on all corporations under South African management, to establish a special sanction strengthening division and punish those who break sanctions with penalties including imprisonment. The report argued that these pressures would lead to genuine negotiations. It called for millions of normal citizens to refuse to use banks with business relations with South Africa) to boycott South African fruits, and to convince store owners not to stock South African goods. The report argued that the solidarity of the people would be the ultimate sanction to end apartheid. Economic sanctions naturally brought hardships not only to the whites, but a large number of blacks in South Africa. Some humanitarians argue that invoking sanctions would cause many more people to die from starvation in North Korea. They should consider the words of Albert Lutuli, a South African black leader who fought against apartheid and was the first African to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Lutuli was one of the first people who called for sanctions against South Africa in the 1960s.
Economic sanctions against South Africa will undoubtedly bring more suffering to Africans. But I believe that if our bloody days and hardships can be shortened by this way, we will gladly welcome this sacrifice. We are already suffering in every way possible. Our children are malnourished, and, put in the mildest way, Africans are being killed by policemen at their whim.

As a result of this international campaign, the abominable system of apartheid came to a full stop. In the first parliamentary elections of 1994 in which all races voted, the anti-apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela, after 27 years of imprisonment, proudly became president. 131

Here is a living example of how it is possible to fight with the lawlessness of Kim Jong Ils regime. 5 Accepting death for survival

South Korea has until recently been in a position of absolute superiority, economically and in terms of its conventional military forces, compared to its neighbor across the border. The situation, however, has fundamentally been altered by North Koreas nuclear program. Threatened by North Korea to turn Seoul into a sea of fire with nuclear arms, South Korea has switched to a so-called Sunshine Policy. This policy is nothing more than paying tribute to Kim Jong Il in the form of money and food supplies to avert war. Pak Kuan Yong, chairman of the South Korean Diet, laments this current situation. This man of integrity who, despite his public post, does not mince his words when criticizing the South Korean President. He writes in his book.
The government of President Kim Dae Jung has exacerbated fears of war and the threat of a sea of fire in Seoul. The people of President Kim Dae Jungs regime have merely demanded the need to maintain reciprocally in its aid to North Korea. They reprimand and suppress all other diplomatic options, as leading to war. Many citizens are frightened, believing that if the Bush regime carries out sanctions against North Korea to resolve the nuclear issue, a war would break out immediately. North Korea is always threatening to be prepared to go to war or create a sea of fire. To accept these threats uncritically and argue that to avoid war, we must aid North Korea is to sympathize with North Korean logic. (Waga sei, waga yume, soshite toitsu, My Life, My Dream, and Unification, pg 144)

Cho Gap Jae, a leading South Koran journalist and editor for the largest monthly magazine Gekkan Chosen (Monthly Korea), has introduced a discussion between a North Korean exile and a Christian reverend. The two are involved in aiding refugees in China, near the North Korean border.
Kim Jong Il has sacrificed the lives of several million North Koreans for his own life. The conclusion which these two have reached, based on this understanding) was that the 'assassination of Kim Jong Il was the most humanitarian and effective and just way of rescuing our North Korean comrades,' Even a reverend and a Buddhist priest would be filled with the kind of rage to make such hard-line arguments if they witnessed the wretched conditions of our North Korean comrades. If the NATO-led war against Serbia (carried out to prevent racial cleansing in Kosovo which had claimed the lives of only several tens of thousands of people) was justified, then an act of war to save the 20 million inhabitants of North Korea, be it by assassination of Kim Jong Il or by emasculating his regime) should also be justified. It is justified in the same logic that allows a police man to shoot a hostagetaker to save the hostage. (Gekkan Chosen, September 1999)


Although Cho Gab Jae does not explicitly endorse assassination or war, he emphasizes the terrible conditions of North Korea which) the more one learns about, leads to advocating such extreme measures. Mr Cho is trying to interest South Koreans in a matter of life and death for them. This is clearly in great contrast to the approach of some spineless Japanese politicians who believe issues can be resolved by talking. The Japanese public should be aware of this gap. This brings to mind the 1970s in South Korea when Pak Jung Hee military dictatorships repression was in full force. The South Korean Catholic association26 which fought in the front lines of the movement against the military dictatorship argued that if a tyrant oppressed the common good and threatened the peoples livelihood, the execution of the tyrant was permissible. The Catholic organization based their argument on the claims of Thomas Aquinas, the 13th century Italian theologian, in his opus, the Summa Theologiae. Let me introduce one more person, Dr Chung Gun Mo is an internationally renowned nuclear physicist who has also held the chair of the IAEA. He has claimed it is necessary to develop electromagnetic and laser bombs which can be used to render North Koreas nuclear-tipped missiles useless. This argument was introduced in the April 2003 issue of Gekkan chosen. The reporter who interviewed the doctor was surprised to hear of these apparently extreme measures being proposed by the usually mild-mannered doctor. Chung Gun Mo told the reporter, I am not advocating preemptive attack. This is to defend ourselves. How can we defend ourselves if we disarm? Chung Gun Mo sharply censured President Roh Moo Hyuns policy of promoting disarmament.
President Kim Dae Jung had said If South Korea guarantees the safety of the North Korean regime and provides economic aid, the North will surely relinquish its ambition to become a nuclear power. He has also said that The more dangerous the North is, the more we need to interact with the country and aid them. It is not possible to defend our citizens with such simplistic, black-and-white arguments: Dont provoke the North, Any sanctions against the North will result in war. We must confront them risking life and death. Cheap tricks to merely postpone dealing with the problem now will not work.

In the interview, Chung Gun Mo twice quoted the famous naval commander Lee Sun Sin who defeated the large armies of Toyotomi Hideyoshi at sea. Accepting death for survival, Chung Gun Mo quoted the commanders famous words, To live or die, we must prevent the nuclear arming of North Korea at all costs. The existence of these grave arguments reveal that there are more than a few people in South Korea who are seriously considering ways to deal with the North Korean nuclear threat. But in reality they are still minorities. The political world and general media discourse, and even the KCIA and military, are permeated with the jusapa (a faction which sympathizes with Kim Il Sungs juche philosophy). These individuals, led by President Roh Moo Hyun, favor a
26 Seigi gugen zenkoku shisaidan, National Association of Priests to Realize Justice


diplomacy of kowtowing to North Korea. They loudly declare their anti-American stance, but do not mention the wretched conditions of their Northern compatriots. In this environment, some South Koreans have earnestly argued that Kim Jong Il is the savior of the Korean Peninsula.
Our compatriots in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula refuse to be anybodys lapdog and wage a nuclear game with the U.S. Their stance has given immeasurable pride and joy to the South Korean people. The figure of Kim Jong Il fighting against the U.S. in the North Korean-U.S. nuclear conflict is truly that of the peoples savior.

These are the comments of Kim Yung Chol, a military and diplomacy expert, taken from his book Kin Shonichi kaku no inbo (Kim Jong Ils nuclear conspiracy) Tokyo, Korensha, 2004. It is an embarrassing story. Faced with the threat of a domestic uprising due to his familys misrule and persecution of the North Korean people, Kim Jong Il had threatened and taken hostage of the South Korean people and U.S. military personnel. Not only did Kim Jong Il escape a tight corner, he managed to extort a ransom from the U.S. His nuclear show-down was nothing but an act of banditry. When somebody is taken hostage and kept captive by the criminal for a long period, the hostage begins to develop a strange emotion of revering the hostage taker. This is a pathological condition called the Stockholm syndrome. In 1973, a woman who had been held hostage in a bank by a bank-robber in Stockholm, Sweden, fell in love and married the robber after the incident. When a human being is placed in extreme situations, hate sometimes tums to love. It has been said that such a relationship formed between the hijackers and the passengers in the Japan Airlines Yodo-go hijacking case in 1970. The South Korean expert and the young people who revere Kim Jong Il are clearly suffering this sort of pathological syndrome. It is a fact that the jusapa faction is expanding in South Korea, but there are also quite a few who have left its organizations and committed themselves to anti-Kim Jong Il activities. They carry out activities under the banner of a magazine named Jidai seishin(Spirit of the era) Kim Yung Hwan is one of the leaders of this group. He is a talented man in his thirties who graduated from Seoul University and used to be a famous student protest leader. He also used to be the theoretical and practical leader of Kim Il Sung-ism in South Korea and was invited to a meeting with Kim Il Sung for his work in this field. But Kim Yung Hwan eventually realized the hypocrisy of Kim Il Sung-ism and the wretched conditions of the North Korean people and broke his ties with Kim Il Sung-ism the mid-1990s.


What is needed most now is a North Korean revolution. I will give my life to overthrowing Kim Jong Ils regime, he once declared, causing commotion and profoundly moving others in South Korea. When I went to Seoul in December 2003, I was told about a publishing party for Hwang Jang Yops new book. I arrived a little late and by chance, Kim Yung Hwan was making a speech. I had met him once in the past but this was the first time I had heard him speaking publicly. He had a clear, strong voice which he used effectively, as he had probably done during his student protest days. I was glad that he was alive and well, considering his dangerous activities could bring about retribution from the North Korean secret service and members of the jusapa. Hwang Jang Yops publishing party was packed with over 300 people. It felt as if I was participating in an anti-Kim Jong Il or anti-Roh Moo Hyun rally. There are various organizations in South Korea, but I felt strongly that we should be partnering ourselves with these people who were risking their lives to fight Kim Jong Il. 6 The song of the Cando partisans, once again

In the summer of 1995, I traveled with everyone to Yanbian in China - everyone being the academic survey team of the North Korean research association, NK-kai, led by Mr Motoi Tamaki. I did not have any specific interest in the academic survey, but I couldnt resist the temptation of the invitation to go to Yanbian. It became one of the most interesting trips in my life. One of the members of this team was Professor Lee Myung Yung. It was a coincidence. Professor Lee Myug Yung was the professor emeritus of the South Korean Sungyunguan University and a specialist on North Korean politics. Two years ago, when I had published the book entitled Chosen senso (The Korean War) from Bungei Shunju, he had kindly written a long review of the book for a South Korean magazine. He had given me much undeserved praise and I had long wanted to meet and thank him. I had the chance to share the same room with Professor Lee Myung Yung one night. Each night, the members of the team shared different rooms to increase opportunities of making new contacts. It was not a menu of the day, but a roommate of the night. The professor said, If I sleep in the same room as a communist, I think the KCIA will come and arrest me for breaking the National Security Law when I return to Seoul. Times have changed and the professor did not have any political influence, so he was, of course, joking. The professor laughed heartily. He liked to talk and, for some reason, we ended up discussing the epic poem The song of the Gando partisan. Perhaps the poem came up in our talks because Yanbian was the area which once used to be called Gando. It was one of my favorite poems as well. The professor said,


Why didn't one of our people write that poem? Its hard to believe that such a moving poem was written by a Japanese poet. The poet was Makimura Ko. The protagonist of the poem was a young Korean partisan. It was an epic poem describing the protagonist who, fighting the Japanese Imperial Army, is driven from his home of Hamgyong to Gando. This lyrical and epic poem commences with the protagonist recalling his childhood.
My memories take me home Across the crest of Paektu and over the forests of larch Beyond the swamp with black, frozen reeds To where the little blackened hut stands on reddish earth Village of Hamgyong in the valley where the Korean pheasant sings Stepping across the snow-melted little paths Carrying packs on our shoulder The oak forest on the back of the hill Which I climbed with my sister

On March 1st, 1919, when the boy is twelve, the Samil Independence Movement calling for the independence of Korea from Japanese occupation spreads across the nation. His parents and sister are killed by the bayonettes of the Japanese Imperial Army that have come to suppress the uprising. The boy, in desperation, leaves his home and heads to Gando.
0ver corpses, unable to fit into coffins, exposed to the vultures, Over the ravaged villages Over the buming fields and those who hide themselves in the thick forests of pine and cedar Carry the scents of the wild grass sprouting in the wide fields of North Korea Blow! Spring winds! At night the mountains burned violently Over the settlements surrounded by fields of fire, the birds broke their flock and separated Morning I looked at the dawn sky And saw a stork form a spiral and fly north Past the forests of tulchuk Beyond the luxuriant sea of trees To the border

Bunka hyoron, (Cultural criticism) the cultural magazine of the Japanese Communist Party, published a special feature on Makimura Kos poems in its June 1963 edition. I came across his poems for the first time as a university student and was deeply moved. Before the war, it had been immediately censored as part of the general suppression of the Japanese Communist Party. It was a work which was thoroughly censored and even the title of the poem was not published. The author was only nineteen at the time and also from the same prefecture, Kochi, as myself. He was born in 1912, making him the same age as my mother. I asked her about him at home. 136

Do you know this poet named Makimura Ko? No. His real name is Yoshida Hodo. Of course I know him. What kind of person from Kochi would not know about Yoshida Hodo? He was known as a child prodigy in the prefecture, my mother told me. Yoshida Hodo had come to her small elementary school in the mountain village of Odoehi and had heard him speak. She had been impressed by this elementary school child who had spoken so well. There is a famous episode which describes his precociousness. An aristocrat who visited Kochi said he wanted to meet this child prodigy. Tell me what you know about Alexander, she asked him. The young elementary school child Yoshida answered, There are many Alexanders, which one are you talking about? Yoshida Hodo was thrown out of middle school for participating in leftist activities and joined the underground Japanese Conununist Party. His literary talents were already apparent, but he became renowned after publishing the Song of the Gando Partisan under the pen name Makimura Ko in the April 1932 edition of Purorelariato bungaku (Proletariat Literature). His noble poem sang of the fierce spirit for independence with the voice of a young Korean committed to the Korean struggle for independence who was fighting the Japanese army to regain his country. The poem is an epic over 200 lines long, but I present here a portion of the second half of this poem. I have taken the poem from G(wdo Paruchizan no uta - Makimura Ko shishu (The song of the Gando partisan - a collection of poems by Makimura Ko) published by Shin Nippon Shupansha. 1964)
We are the men and women of Hamgyong In the name of this land carved with the history of defiance against our exploiters In the name of this earth soaked with the blood of countless uprisings For the sake of all Korea How could we shamelessly hand over this land with bowed head? Who folds the flag and lays it on the ground? Who has abandoned his place of duty and given in to the iron hooves of the enemy? However much the flames may surround us However many cavalry troops attack us with bayonets like wild beasts We will hold our heads high We will hold out our chests triumphantly


And shout out banzai like angry waves smashing upon the peaks! We will not abandon our territory, our voices will ring through to every comer of Korea Covered by the clouds of oppression Our country lives on The blood of our people will continue to run through our veins

This poem caused much displeasure to the imperialist government and every single word and line of the poem was banned immediately. Makimura was later arrested for breaking the Peace Preservation Law and sent to jail, but he fought on with the motto of no surrender, no dishonor. He formed the alliance of those imprisoned who will never be converted and was an activist in the prison cell. During his two years and three months in prison he suffered white terror (violence meted out by the police), nearly died from brain damage, and was released. In September 1938, he died in a Tosa hospital. He was only 28 years old. The emperors government before the war clearly loathed the Korean independence movement. We should not forget the barbarism of this imperial Japanese government which arrested talented poets, tortured them heartlessly, sealed their mouths and broke their pens, and took away their lives. Seventy years later, it brings us great pride to know that there was a Japanese who risked his life in solidarity of the Korean independence movement. The North Korean people are in an abyss of unprecedented hardships. In particular, the people of Hamgyong, considered the greatest threat to Kim Jong Il, have seen millions of their comrades murdered. These are people who, as in times past, bore the hatred of the central authorities because they refused to yield. Kim Jong Il may now be dozing off in the momentary tranquility he had achieved with his murderous ploys, but the day will come when his falsehoods will be unmasked by the people of the north.
Those people, in the shadow of pale governance, Those who are bought to express joy Should express joy The tired newspaper boy who has been forced to shout out false victories Should shout It will make no difference for We are invincible!

The words which Makimura Ko had written so many years ago can now be directly aimed at Kim Jong Il today. His poems echoes back at us today. I offer this book for all three million victims of starvation in the DPRK so that they may rest in peace. I also offer this book with hopes that the North Korean people will rise up one day as a tremendous force to smash the falsehoods of Kim Jong Il.


One As I had mentioned in the prologue, this book deals with three mysterious incidents which occurred in the last fifteen years of North Koreas modern history: the North Korea-U.S. nuclear confrontation, three million deaths by starvation, and the death of Kim Il Sung. Kim Il Sung had mainly directed the U.S.-North Korean nuclear confrontation, but the other two incidents were carried out by Kim Jong Il. Neither of them was the result of natural causes, but had been instigated by Kim Jong Il in what could be described as Kim Jong Ils wars, The significance of this book is that it demonstrated the following two points. 1. The famines which began in North Korea since 1995 were created artificially in order to intentionally murder political enemies through starvations. The goal was to eliminate the several million members of the hostile class which was the hotbed of popular revolt. Kim Jong Il had disguised these murders in the form of mass starvations. 2. Kim Il Sung was the greatest obstacle to Kim Jong Ils plans of mass starvation to murder his political enemies. Kim Jong Il could not wage his war without getting rid of Kim Il Sung. Frightened of a popular revolt, Kim Jong Il decided to wage another war of removing Kim Il Sung in a bid for his own survival. No other North Korean researchers have claimed these two arguments which have been proposed for the first time in this book. The North Korean government has not admitted to the mass starvations, and has only stated that food shortages resulted after the countrys agriculture was devastated by various natural disasters which shuck the country from 1994. Several hundred thousand North Korean refugees who, unable to suffer the famines any longer, had fled into China have all testified unanimously of fierce famine conditions which had even led to cases of cannibalism and countless victims of starvation. The estimates that three million people died from starvation have become almost official. The figures are based on the detailed refugee surveys carried out by South Korean Buddhist Sharing Movement and the testimony of Hwang lang Yop, a former top official of the North Korean government. The unanswered question, however, was the reason for these starvations. Most researchers who accept the occurrence of starvation deaths have merely blamed natural disasters and poor agricultural performance for the death toll. They have therefore argued that giving more aid to the Kim Jong Il government would prevent further starvation deaths. This is a fundamentally flawed view. They have been tricked by Kim Jong Il's claims and have been unable to see beyond his deception. I also demonstrated the following points:


1. An increasing number of people died from starvation as soon as international food aid came pouring into North Korea. 2. The North Korean government imported from between 2.5 to 3 million tons of food supplies between 1995 and 1997 when the mass starvations occurred. These amounts, combined with international food aid, should have been sufficient to feed all citizens, even if internal grain production had been zero. 3. The starvation deaths were concentrated in North and South Hamgyong province mostly inhabited by members of the hostile class. Based on these three phenomena, I demonstrated that the mass famines were not natural deaths, but caused intentionally by Kim Jong Il in what amounted to intentional murder. Most researchers consider Kim Il Sungs death to be a natural one. Even researchers who acknowledge that there was a conflict between father and son have only put forth the following two superficial arguments: 1. Kim Il Sung censured Kim Jong Il's poor political management and this made Jong Il resent his father. 2. Kim Jong Il was afraid of his downfall as a result of a feud against Kim Il Sung's later wife Kim Sung Ae and her children. Hence he was driven to remove Kim Il Sung. Kim Il Sung was removed because he was the main obstacle to Kim Jong Il's plans to murder by mass famine. If Kim Il Sung had been alive, three million people would not have died from starvation. Kim Jong Il was paranoid of a Ceau~escu-sytle execution following an uprising by the hostile class and had gambled on this war for his survival. The conflict between father and son was not just a simple spat or disagreement, but an unavoidable life-and-death conflict over policy. Kim Il Sung advocated the revival of agriculture to supply food to the people and stabilize the people's lives to maintain the regime. To this end, he advocated the construction of thermal generators which would be necessary in producing fertilizer. In the meantime, Kim Jong Il pursued the policy of nuclear development to maintain the regime. He believed a nuclear program could effectively threaten internal and external enemies and was therefore insistent about acquiring light-water reactors (nuclear generators). Kim Jong Il had already once tasted the effectiveness and sweetness of nuclear extortion in a nuclear confrontation in 1993 and 1994 with the U.S. which his father had arranged. The conflict boiled down to thermal reactors or light-water reactors, and which reactors Pyongyang should demand of the U.S .. Kim Il Sung died suddenly only one day before a final decision on the reactors were to be made in Geneva between top North Korean and U.S. officials (July 8).


Most North Korean specialists argue that the death was natural, but fail to explain the eerie coincidence of this date. The campaigns of mass famine had become possible only after Kim Il Sung's death. This book is therefore the first one to demonstrate the close connection between Kim Il Sung's death and the mass starvations. It is necessary to reconsider the death of Kim Il Sung with this new perspective that I had presented in this book. Kim Jong Il began murdering his compatriots from the summer of 1994, immediately after the death of his father Kim Il Sung. At around this time, the Japanese government began actively shipping rice aid, wholly accepting Kim Jong Il's demands. The Japanese government believed this humanitarian aid necessary to establish trust with the Kim Jong Il regime. I would like to ask the Japanese politicians and critics who directed this aid effort: can you say that your actions did not abet North Korea's crimes? If a person who had given aid to North Korea in good will reads this book, the person will perhaps feel that his or her altruism had been trampled underfoot by a con man of unprecedented scale. The good will of individuals who sent food packages of eggs and bananas, concerned that the poor children of North Korea will die of starvation, is still laudable. These individuals should not become disillusioned, but direct their good will elsewhere. As Ms Lautze says, it is important to gather our wits and strengths to make sure that food aid actually reach those in need. Now that Kim Jong Il's propaganda has been unmasked for its falsehoods, it has become necessary to fundamentally reconsider our relationship with the Kim Jong Il regime. Prime Minister Koizumi may be eager to normalize ties with North Korea, but this goal is merely an extension of the Japanese government's mistaken policy of aid towards Kim Jong Il. It is an empty theory to believe that the U.S. would simply allow Japan to normalize ties with North Korea, considering the existence of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. I had written about this in my book Rachi ta kaku to kiga na kuni Kitachasen (The country of kidnappings, nuclear weapons, and famines - North Korea) (Bunshun Shinsho) and will not repeat it in detail here. Basically, I have argued that it is necessary to challenge the Koizumi regime which deceives the public with false promises and criticize opposition parties who have forgotten their role of countering the status quo and are eagerly supporting Koizumi. A genuine debate over ways of improving relations with North Korea should be carried out for the public and these methods should be implemented. Two During the course of writing this book, many people have helped me with countless kindnesses.


Mr Y aided me in my research in Yanbian, China. He secured tickets for domestic flights in China, reserved hotel rooms in Yanbian, and even arranged a meeting with the Russian journalist Platkovskiy. Mr Y even kindly shared his home during my stay in Beijing. The young couple provided a large bedroom and a bed with clean sheets, and the wife even washed my shirts and trousers. "I like washing clothes," she had said, trying to put me at ease. It had been fifteen years since I had become a freelance reporter after twenty years with the Akahata newspaper. I could not depend on any research institute and had few news sources or much money. I was on a little ship with no harbor to tum to, in search of the north star with my weakening eyesight to navigate my way forward. In these difficult circumstances, the kindness of Mr and Mrs Y was heart-warming- particularly when it would have been problematic for Mr Y if his relationship with me became public. I recall somebodys haikuThe warmth of Human kindness Fills me with tears

I was introduced to a guest researcher in his late forties and neatly dressed in necktie when I visited the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington think tank. I've read your book, Kitachosen ni kieta watashi to watashi no tomo (The story of my friends and myself who were lost in North Korea). I was surprised as I had not expected to meet a reader of my work outside of Japan. Kim Suk Woo was a former official for the South Korean Foreign Ministry and was fluent in English and Japanese. He did not seem to get on well with Kim Dae Jung's Sunshine Policy and had stepped down from political office to do research. He was biding his time to return to office. I had met him several times since and he had taught me much about the South Korean political situation. In Washington, I would always meet Mr Kim Suk Woo at a Chinese restaurant on L Street in the city center. He always ordered mabo dofu, so I also ordered the same dish and came to like it. After the Kim Dae Jung regime, I had expected the next President to come from the opposition Han Nara party. Kim Suk Woo returned to South Korea during the presidential elections of autumn 2002. He was expected to be given an important post under the new president, but Roh Moo Hyun, epigone of Kim Dae Jung, was elected. I thought how unfortunate this was for Kim Suk Woo and wondered what he was doing, but eventually lost track. In my research trip to South Korea in 2003, Kim Suk Woo suddenly called me at my hotel. How did you know I was here? 142

I read a newspaper article about you on the internet. He invited me to a posh Japanese restaurant immediately. It was a joy to see him again. I worried, however, that this place must be expensive for Kim Suk Woo. I had thought he was still leading the humble life out of political favor, but in fact he apparently was a head secretary for a diet man By coincidence, he was working for chairman Pak Kuan Yong who had been the head secretary for President Kim Yung San until 1994. This was the person who would know the details of the summit meeting between Kim Jong Il and Kim Yung San. I had been wondering how I could meet him. Kim Suk Woo arranged the meeting with chairman Pak Kuan Yong and I was able to hear invaluable details of the historic summit meeting. I was impressed by the numerous rooms of the chairman in the national diet building as well as the huge room of Kim Suk Woo, who was overseeing several dozen political secretaries. It was raining that day. Kim Suk Woo asked his female secretary to prepare a car to drive me back to the hotel. His detailed courteousness had not changed since the days in Washington. I also met Nakajima Tetsuo of the Mainichi Shinbun unexpectedly in Washington. He had been the bureau chief for Seoul and had shared many of his insights with me whenever I visited him. On one research trip in Seoul, I felt I was about to catch a cold from my usual sinus problems which came in the spring. I feared I would come down with a sudden high fever. This was not a good situation. Mr Nakajima, saying this will take care of your cold, took me to a small back-street alley cafeteria. I ate a soup called woogojintang full of radish leaves. I learned that radish is effective against colds after being cured. I bumped into Mr Nakajima for the first time in years in a South Korean supermarket in the suburbs of Washington. He said he had come to DC as a correspondent. It was much pleasure to be invited to his home and drink beer under the trees of his spacious garden. His fourth grade boy brought beer in a basket from the considerably distant kitchen. The next time I visited his home, I brought ingredients for dumplings and wrapped them with the three children who were overjoyed to make gyoza. Ever since, the children refer to me as the dumpling man. It was a full moon that night and the moon slowly rose through the leaves of the trees in the garden which stood over thirty meter tall. There were numerous firebugs flying about. American firebugs gather near grass, rather than near water as they do in Japan. From the broad balcony, I gazed for what seemed hours at the Indian lilacs blooming white into the night air. I had come to the U.S. in June, 2000, at the age of 63. At the time, Clintons bubble era had pushed up the price of apartment rooms by double to triple of that which I had paid in Washington ten years ago. I was told that the apartment which I had lived in was fully 143

reserved for the next two years. Ten years ago, my rent was 390 U.S. dollars. The real-estate agent laughed when I asked if there were any rooms at 500 or 600 U.S. dollars. A black hotel maid who felt sorry seeing me walking about outside every day looking for a room introduced me to another black woman who offered to rent me a room for 500 U.S. dollars a month. I am now living in this building, a twenty-story apartment block with over 200 families in one block. I can not thank her enough for the kindness of sharing her apartment with an unknown foreigner. The owner of the convenience store in the basement of this apartment bloc was a South Korean immigrant in his forties named Oh Gi Hong. He was a very hard-working Christian. After closing the store at 8pm, he would work another job at a hospital, and during his free time he would study theology at graduate school. Thanks to him, I was able to settle down in an unknown foreign city. He lent me a table, chairs, lockers, and even a lamp. He said he had picked them up when a resident left the apartment. I also picked up a mattress. When I was going to switch from borrowing the room to renting my own apartment, I was told that I would need a social security number. Security checks on foreigners had become stricter since the September 11th terrorist attacks. I complained about discrimination, but to no avail. Mr Oh Gi Hon said, we can rent the room under my name. One night before leaving to Washington, the Oh couple kindly prepared a dinner party at a Korean restaurant in Virginia. I was invited to stay in their home in a tranquil residential area and they offered me a large bed in Mr Ohs study. They kindly told me to use the room the next time I came to Washington. There is no end to the kindnesses I received from so many people. I can only be grateful. How can I return their kindness? I am a powerless individual with neither money nor power. But I am somewhat proud of the fact that I have lived a life without compromising to power, money, or violence. This was the least I could do. The day after I was invited to stay at Mr Oh's home was a Sunday. I went with the 0h couple together to a South Korean church in Virginia. The preacher was giving a sermon about Daniel in the Old Testament. Daniel had lived an honest and incorruptible life. I went back to my room and read the verses on Daniel for the first time. It was written that the Lord said: Daniel, go thine own path till the end. Three Kim Jong Il's Hidden War will be translated into Korean and English. The Korean version is expected to be published from a large South Korean publisher. The goal is not to sell more copies of the book, but to present the book to the many researchers who had given me many insights and hints. I would also like those interested in the US. and other countries to know how a Japanese North Korea researcher views the current situation in the Korean Peninsula. 144

I had gone originally to the US. in June of 2000 in order to look at the bilateral relations between North Korea and the US. in the last ten years. It was perhaps too vague a topic and I was soon stuck, lost in a deep forest of information with no way out. I spent two years floundering in my research. Shimoyasu Susumu, my editor, waited patiently. Mr Shimoyamas comments on my early drafts were severe and I was forced to rewrite them on numerous occasions. I had learned in my studies of Chinese poetry in junior high school that there are thoroughbreds that can run 3,000 kilometers only because there are talented horse handlers. In other words, an author is only as good as the skill of his editor. I would like to thank my editor from the bottom of my heart. Due to my vague approach, the book on the problem of the North Korea-U.S. relations remains unwritten. My focus on this issue, however, has sharpened during the course of writing this book. The crux of the matter is in the problem of the light water reactors, which was linked to the death of Kim Il Sung. Why did the U.S. promise to provide not only one, but two, lightwater reactors which could be used in North Koreas nuclear program despite claiming it wanted to halt their nuclear program? Is there a force in the U.S., beyond the Republican or Democratic Parties, which wants to see the North Korean status quo continue? Are there interests in the U.S. which benefit from the continuation of Kim Jong Il's violent regime? It is evident that the more tension there is in the Korean Peninsula, the more weapons can be sold to South Korea and Japan. The more North Korea swings about its nuclear arms and threatens Japan, the more Japan will cling to its military alliance with the U.S. Prime Minister Koizumi's pretext of sending troops to Iraq was to make sure the "U.S. will protect Japan from the North Korean threat". Kim Jong Il holding out in Pyongyang is therefore a boon to some in the U.S. China is also benefiting from Kim Jong Il. By pretending to be the only power capable of controlling lawless Kim Jong Il, China is using North Korea as a diplomatic card against the U.S. It is widely understood that China holds the reins over the life and death of the North Korean regime. China controls crucial energy and food supplies and can direct North Korea at its whim, but they pretend to be at a loss. Oh, those people in Pyongyang really don 't listen to what we say. We just cant handle them, they argue. There should be no difficulty for China to set up a puppet regime in Pyongyang that is loyal to Beijing. Yet Beijing does not do this because they don't want to lose their diplomatic card against the U.S .. North Korea is valuable only because it is untamed. If the U.S. wants to maintain the Kim Jong Il regime, and China even more so, a simple downfall of the regime is unlikely. Japan's future is also closely connected to the fate of these two countries. Japan faces a difficult challenge in the near future which probably will be not be overcome by naive people who believe mere talking would resolve issues. 145

One of the variables which will determine the future of North Korea is the problem of the North Korean refugees. China's basic policy towards North Korea is to stop all refugees at the border and maintain the stability of the Kim Jong Il regime. Thus the Chinese authorities, cooperating with North Korean secret police, chase, capture, torture, and forcibly repatriate those who had risked their lives to cross the border. If there are 500,000 North Korean defectors or more, the Kim Jong Il regime will not survive and Chinas North Korean policy will become bankrupt. Chinas deceptive ploy will be unmasked to the world. While writing this, 470 North Korean refugees who had fled to Vietnam simultaneously entered South Korea. This was a dramatic incident in which the Vietnamese government had taken the decisive step of allowing refugees to go where they wish, in line with international principles. The fact that such a normal course of action was seen as a courageous decision underlines how badly the Chinese have handled this problem. Chinas mistaken policy was made evident by the Vietnamese government's decision. North Korea suddenly reversed its attitude and sweet-talked the refugees into returning to their country: "Comrades who had been deceived and abducted by South Korea, come back to the warm bosom of your motherland." Their behavior clearly demonstrated the damage caused by the Vietnamese government's decision on the inhumane refugee policy of North Korea and China. The panic of the two governments strengthened my conviction that the future of North Korea was in the movement of the refugees. This was also a severe blow to the kowtow diplomacy of Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo Hyun's regime which has been passive about accepting North Korean refugees. The mistake of North Korean apologists, such as Wada Haruki and So Sung, who insulted the activities of rescuing refugees as defection projects was also made clear. Those who seek to prevent the North Korean people from fleeing their oppressive regime and live human lives, even at the risk of death, seem no different than the insidious agents of Kim Jong Il. During the course of researching for this book, numerous North Korean refugees offered precious testimony, risking their own and the lives of relatives remaining in North Korea. I would like to thank them once again. If the Korean version of this book is published, the North Korean people will learn about this book through the Free North Korean Broadcast run by a refugee group. This book will also reach the North Korean audience of the Korean language broadcasts of Radio Free Asia (four hours a day) sponsored by the U.S. Congress. Some of my books may be secretly brought into North Korea. I am overjoyed if in any way my work can be a small aid to the North Korean people. I return to the problem of light-water reactors. When I invited Chuck Downs for a dinner at a Japanese restaurant, we discussed the issue of light water reactors. Kim Jong Il had no interest in thermal reactors and was insistent in obtaining light water reactors.


Thermal reactors are easier to construct. Once built, Kim Jong Il would have to scrap the graphite-moderated reactors provided by the Soviet Union in exchange. This would mean an end to the North Korean nuclear program. This was the analysis offered by Mr Downs, an official for the Pentagon during the nuclear crisis of 1993 and 1994. I had become acquainted with Mr Downs in Washington and had learned much from him. He was also a specialist who studied the central issues of the light water reactor problem. My current position is that the essence of U.S. policy towards North Korea, in the past, present, and future, is contained in this light water reactor problem. Further debate with U.S. specialists will be necessary to come to the bottom of this issue. Like a soldier whose brief moment of rest has passed, I will pick up my rifle and head to the front once more.


English Language Texts Ashton B. Carter and William J. Perry, Preventive Defense Brookings Institution Press. Sue Lautze, 06 June 1996 North Korea Food Aid Assessment U.S. Agency for International Development, 1996. Sue Lautze, The Famine In North Korea: Humanitarian Responses in Communist Nations. Feinstein International Famine Center, School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, 1997. James Clay Moltz and Alexandre Y. Mansourov, Editors, The North Korean Nuclear Program: Security, Strategy, and New Perspectives from Russia, 2000, Routledge. Andrew S. Natsios, The Great North Korean Famine United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC, 2001. Don Oberdorfer, The Two Koreas - A Contemporary History Basic Books Japanese Language Texts
, Watashi ga Mita Kitachosen Kaku Kojo no Jijitsu (The Truth of the

North Korean Nuclear Facilities Which I Witnessed), Tokuma Shoten, 2003. Kitachosen haruka nari (Distant North Korea) Bunshun Bunko Rachi to kaku to gashi no kuni - kitachosen, (The country of kidnappings, nuclear weapons, and famines - North Korea) Bunshun Shinsho March 2003. Kitachosen no kakugiwaku to post resienki no 'ikinokori' senryarku (North Korea's nuclear threat and strategy for survival in the post-Cold war era) from Ugokidashita chosen hanto, Nihon Hyoronsha, 2000. Kitachosen hakyoku he no michi (North Korea's path to self-destruction) Yomiuri Shimbunsha 1996 lraku go no chosen hanto (The Korean peninsula after Iraq) Asia Daigaku Asia Kenkyujo 2004. Amerika - kitachosen kososhi (History of the U.S.-North Korea conflict) Shimada Yoichi Gando Paruchizan no uta - Makimura Ko shishu (The song of the Gando partisan - a collection of poems by Makimura Ko) published by Shin Nippon Shupansha. (1964)


Rachi, kokka, jinken - Kitachosen dokusai taisei wo kokusai houtei no ba he (Kidnappings, government, human rights - bringing the North Korean dictatorship to an international court) (Edited by Nakano Tetsuzo, Fujii Kazuyuki, Omura Shoten, 2003).
, Kitachosen ni kieta tomo to watashi no monogatarai (Lost in

North Korea With My Friends) Hagiwara Ryo. 1998 Chosen senso - kin nissei to makasa no imbo (The Korean War - Kim Il Sung and McArthur's Conspiracy). Hagiwara Ryo. 1993 Kitachosen- beikokumusho tantokan no kosho hiroku Kenneth Quinones (North Korea - the secret negotiation records of a U.S. State Department North Korean affairs officer) Chuokoro Shinsha 2000, Korean Language Texts Kin nissei chosaku senshu (The Collected Works of Kim Il Sung) Chosen Rodoto Minzoku no kibo 0 motomete (In search of hope for our people) Korea - J odo Shuppan 1999 Kin Shonichi sengun seiji (Kim Jong Il's military-first politics) Pyongyang Gaikoku Bunshutsu Shuppan
, Watashi ha iesu wo shinjimasu (I Believe in Jesus), South Korea,

Toshoshuppan, 2000 Zoku - Kin shonichi he no sensen fukoku - Kyoken ni obieruna (Declaration of war on Kim Jong Il- Do not fear the mad dog) Hwang Jang Yop Rekishi no Taiga (The saga of history) from the series Fumetsu no kyodo April 1997 Bungaku Geijutsu Sogo Shupansha Pyongyang Yong Saeng (Eternal Life), June 1997 Bungei Gakujustu Sogo Shupansha Pyongyang.


About the author

Hagiwara Ryo was born in Kochi prefecture in 1937. He graduated from the Osaka University of Foreign Studies department of Korean languages in 1967 and joined the Akahata newspaper as a reporter from 1969 to 1988. He was the Pyongyang correspondent from 1972 to 1973. Between December 1989 and August 1992, Mr Hagiwara was in Washington DC where he spent three years reading over 1.6 million pages of North Korean documents seized by the U.S. military and currently kept in the Washington National Records Center. This research resulted in Chosen senso - Kin Hissei to Makkasa no imbo (The Korean War - Kim Il Sung and McArthurs Conspiracy). (1993). Mr Hagiwaras work Kitachosen ni kieta toma to watashi no monogatarai (The story of my friends and myself who were lost in North Korea) (1998) which depicted the tragedy of those who returned to the North during the return home campaigns of the 1960s was unanimously chosen for the thirtieth Ooya Shoichi Non-fiction Prize. In June 2000, Mr Hagiwara returned to Washington to research the Korean Peninsula during the 1990s a decade of nuclear crisis, mass starvations, and disclosure of kidnappings. This book, which reveals the two wars of Kim Jong Il against Kim Il Sung and the several million members of the hostile class, was based on over four years of research, including trips made to China and South Korea. About the translator Ken Hijino is a free-lance translator and formerly a reporter for the Financial Times in Tokyo. He has translated books by Sakaiya Taiichi and Hara Ryo. He is currently studying political decentralization in Japan at Cambridge University, England.


Table A Distribution Conditions for Chagang Province

Table B Food Distribution in North Hwanghae Province


Table C Food Distribution in North Pyongyang

Table D Ten Major Agricultural Regions


Table E Three Marginal Agricultural Areas

Table F Eight Great Disaster Areas