[KS] KAL-858 bombing

Balazs Szalontai aoverl at yahoo.co.uk
Thu May 4 12:02:01 EDT 2006

Dear Michael (if I may),
  the Hungarian diplomatic documents I found about the KAL-858 case seem to confirm North Korea's involvement in the destruction of the airplane, but at the same time they refute certain elements of the "official" South Korean version of the story. I am of the opinion that Kim Hyong-hui's so-called memoirs should not be considered a credible source, since the author(s) seem(s) to have deliberately distorted the facts in several cases. For this reason, I would like to read some detailed and objective analysis of the KAL-858 bombing, either from a political or a purely technical perspective. Is there any list member who may help me in finding such a publication (preferably in English, German, French or Russian)? I would be also interested in reading more details about Harrold's argument, since his book is unavailable for me for the time being.
  All the best,

      Regarding Aidan Foster-Carter's query about  whether Shin Sang-ok went to Norh Korea involuntarily or otherwise, the current (inconclusive) state of knowledge/opinion seems best summed up in the obituary in the Independent, written by the doyen of western Korean cinema specialists, Tony Rayns:
  In January 1978, Shin's ex-wife Choi Eun-Hee disappeared while working on a film in Hong Kong. Shin went to Hong Kong "to investigate" and himself disappeared in July. Both of them turned up in North Korea and established a new film company in Pyongyang in 1983. The South's National Security Planning Agency issued a statement in 1984 acknowledging that the famous ex-couple had been kidnapped, but Shin issued a counter-statement (under duress, he later claimed) that they had willingly defected to work in the North.
  As for the downing of KAL858 in 1987 (about which Shin himself directed a film, "Mayumi",  in 1990), I daresay Prof. Foster-Carter has read "Comrades and Strangers" by Michael Harrold, who was living in Pyongyang what the time of the incident, and insisted that such an act would have been counterproductive for the North Korean government.  An interesting, though also inconclusive, argument.

  Switch an email account to Yahoo! Mail, you could win FIFA World Cup tickets. 
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