BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Asia-Pacific
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Caroline Gluck reports from Seoul
"North Korea was accused of supporting international terrorism"
 real 28k

Thursday, 1 February, 2001, 09:45 GMT
North Korea leader accused of terrorism
The North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and the US secretary of state Madeleine Albright
Kim Jong-il has been keen to repair relations with the US
Relatives of victims killed during the 1987 mid-air explosion of a Korean airliner and right-wing activists have demanded the North Korean leader be arrested for terrorism when he comes to Seoul.

Kim Jong-il must be arrested and punished

Lawyer for right-wing group
The two groups have filed petitions against Kim Jong-il, claiming he ordered the attack on the airliner, which exploded and killed 115 people over the Andaman Sea.

They have called for him to publicly apologise and offer formal compensation.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
Kim is due to visit Seoul
They say unless this happens the leader should not be allowed to visit Seoul as expected this spring, following reconciliation efforts between North and South Korea.

"Kim Jong-il must be arrested and punished if he comes to Seoul without admitting his criminal acts and offering an apology and compensation," lawyer Lee Chul-sung, who leads a South Korean right-wing group, said after filing the lawsuit with the Seoul District Prosecutor's Office.

Agent's confession

Relatives allege that Mr Kim ordered the terrorist attack of KAL Flight 858 in 1987.

South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
South Korean President Kim Dae-jung (left) is keen to push reconciliation
A female North Korean agent arrested soon after the attack told South Korean security officials that she was directly ordered to do so by Mr Kim.

The event led to North Korea being placed on the United States list of countries accused of supporting international terrorism.

The North has recently held several rounds of talks with US officials aimed at getting its name removed from the list which effectively blocks international financial institutions from giving loans to the impoverished state.

Reconciliation policy

Prosecution officials - who by law will study the claim before a decision to indict the North Korean leader is made - have said privately that an indictment was unrealistic and highly unlikely, reports said.

Missile test
Noth Korea has also come under fire for its missile programme
South Korean President Kim Dae-jung has espoused reconciliation with the North as a key policy of his three-year-old government.

A coalition of conservative groups have also filed a letter of complaint to the prosecutors' office accusing the North Korean leader of involvement in other criminal incidents.

Among the incidents cited were the abduction of civilians and the bombing in the Burmese capital, Rangoon, in 1983 in which about 20 people were killed.

Those filing the petitions said that if their attempts to get justice failed, they would not give up but turn to the international criminal court in The Hague for help.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

17 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
S Korea extends missile range
16 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
'Surprise China visit' for Kim Jong-il
28 Dec 00 | Asia-Pacific
Clinton will not visit North Korea
03 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
No deal in N Korea missile talks
10 Dec 00 | Asia-Pacific
Kim gets prize for Korean thaw
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories