Monday, March 12, 2007

KOREAN Framed SPY Died Without Redemption; A fisherman, Drifted North; Indoctrinated; Returned; Accused Spying; Tortured; Confessed; Family Disowned

Emulate South Korean Corporate Culture, Says Najib- 2007
see below......

The nightmarish culture that was 30 years ago in Korea during the "red scare" was during the “cold war” between the North and the South and we see how effective “brain washing” can be when the mind is being bombarded with false data and information and believes can be changed to the extent that families can be made to believe otherwise. And they are doing this to the same Korean people. But these have since changed very much in the South and we observed their tremendous progress compared to the North more concern being a nuclear power.

It is no wonder when the Deputy Premier Najib visited S Korea recently (see below) he was awed by the changes there and he was urging his “tagging along Malaysians entrepreneurs“to emulate their corporate culture” like spending “ more than 12 hours a day at work”. Yes there is a handful doing this already. But not many would do it if success can be guarantee so effortlessly with all the privileges, preferences and handouts in all the “win-win” contracts.

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Redemption comes too late for many accused during S. Korea's red scare

By Choe Sang-Hun; Friday, March 9, 2007

ABOVE: Lee Sang Chul, was a deckhand on a fishing boat that drifted into North Korean waters during a storm and was seized by Northern patrol boats; returned and later accused as a N Korean "communits spy" but died as the Venerable Bogwang unable to redeem himself and disowned by family. "Senior monks say that I should forgive everything and leave it behind; they say hatred begets hatred,"

: In his final days, the Venerable Bogwang, a fisherman-turned Buddhist monk, wrestled with a dilemma. The scriptures he revered exhorted him to leave behind the entanglements of the material world. But he could not shake off the nightmarish memories of the interrogation room of South Korea's once-infamous Army Security Command, where he said he was held for 43 days without an arrest warrant or a lawyer and tortured. "They tied me naked in a steel chair and attached an electric cord to my genitals," Bogwang said in his last interview. "When they threw the switch, electricity bolted through my spine and jolted my brain. It was as if my body jumped a meter off the floor." By the time the military interrogators were done with him, Bogwang had signed a confession that he was a Communist spy. He was released from prison in 1998, after 15 years, and two years later became a monk.

But, more recently, he also had become one of scores of South Koreans fighting to clear their names of political subversion charges dating from the military dictatorships of the 1960s to '80s. Under the auspices of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established by the government of President Roh Moo Hyun at the end of 2005 to examine human rights abuses in Korea's recent past, investigations are under way and verdicts are being reviewed and in some cases overturned. On Jan. 23, a court acquitted, posthumously, eight men who were hanged in 1975 on charges of organizing a "People's Revolutionary Party," ostensibly to overthrow the government at North Korea's behest. The court found that the men were executed on the basis of confessions extracted under torture.

Not everyone who survived torture and imprisonment and invested hopes in a new trial has seen justice. In Bogwang's case, vindication never came. On Feb. 25, he died, apparently of natural causes, at his hillside monastery, 100 kilometers, or 60 miles, south of Seoul. His death, at 57, was a reminder of the painfully slow progress the Roh
government is making in delving into the country's tumultuous history,
and what a political minefield the past remains in this still-divided country. In an interview nine days before his death, Bogwang spoke passionately about his campaign to establish the truth of what happened to him 24 years before, at a time when the military government often resorted to red scares to quash political discontent.

"Senior monks say that I should forgive everything and leave it behind; they say hatred begets hatred," he said. "But they also say I should seek truth. My mind is full of conflict. One thing I know is that I cannot leave behind the false charge that I was a Communist spy." As former political prisoners come forward, their accounts of witch hunts and torture can sound unreal to young South Koreans today. The large-scale anti-government demonstrations, tear gas and firebombs have long since receded from the streets. North Korea stirs more sympathy for its economic plight than fear as a source of subversion. The Korea where Bogwang lived three decades ago, was a very different place. On Sept. 26, 1971, Bogwang, whose secular name was Lee Sang Chul, was a deckhand on a fishing boat that drifted into North Korean waters during a storm and was seized by Northern patrol boats.

The 21 crewmen were allowed to return home after 11 months, amid a budding détente. Before Bogwang's departure, however, the North Korean authorities brought in his uncle, who had been reported missing during the 1950-53 Korean War, and warned that a "bad thing" would happen to him if Bogwang did not spy for the North. Back in the South, Bogwang underwent a 90-day debriefing and, according to the police, confessed to having been trained as spy. The boat's crew was tried and received a suspended one-year prison term for entering Communist waters. Bogwang thought his trouble was over — until 12 years later, on Nov. 15, 1983, when agents from the Army Security Command, a powerful intelligence outfit loyal to the military dictator Chun Doo Hwan, arrived at the shipyard where Bogwang was working, and shoved him into a black sedan. The espionage activities of both North Korea and South Korea diminished with the mid-1970s détente, but political persecution did not. In the South, anti-Communist squads from the police, the military and the main intelligence agency closely monitored Koreans living in Japan, relatives of South Koreans taken to the North during the war, relatives of South Korean fishermen abducted after the war and never seen again — and fishermen like Bogwang who managed to return.

The government saw them as potential threats — and, according to testimony and investigative reports by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission — as a pool of scapegoats when a spy case became politically expedient. "They asked me to draw a map of the shipyard," Bogwang said. "When I did, they said I got that information for spy purposes. They asked me where the police station was in my town and how many officers were there. When I answered, they said I collected that information for the North Koreans." Interrogators deprived him of sleep for days and then made him sit in front of high-intensity lights, he said. They tied him to a rod like "a pig being roasted," put a wet towel over his nose and eyes, and poured water laced with mustard or pepper into his mouth.

"Such methods of torture were commonplace," said Kim Byung Jin, 51, who worked as an interpreter for interrogators at the Army Security Command. "They could make the victim say whatever they wanted him to say. Truth was irrelevant." Kim, a Korean resident of Japan, was studying at Yonsei University in Seoul in 1983, when he was brought in as a Communist suspect, tortured and put on the military's payroll for two years. "I still hear them saying to me, 'You ready? Here we go!' as they cranked up the generator to send electricity to the wire tied around my fingers," Kim said in an interview last month. "I had to admit to their nonsensical charges against me after they threatened to send my wife to a brothel and my 100-day-old son to an orphanage."

In November, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission began releasing its reports, recommending that the courts retry several spy cases that it concluded were built on torture and fabricated evidence and that the state formally apologize to those wrongly convicted. But with a presidential election looming in December, the investigations are raising political hackles. Conservative critics call them a "score-settling" by leftists. "This is a political offensive against me," Park Geun Hye, the daughter of Park Chung Hee, who ruled South Korea with an iron fist for 18 years until his assassination in 1979, told reporters in January. She hopes to run in the December election as a candidate of the conservative opposition. During the interview, Bogwang recalled the day his interrogators brought in his daughter and son, aged 6 and 4, to weaken his resolve. "My daughter said, 'Daddy, please come home,' and kissed me," he said. "That was 24 years ago and the last time I saw them."

(The online version ends here. But the print version has more. I think the editor did a disservice in taking out the part below. This is the bit that would bring a lump in anyone's throat. - SE)
Like others convicted of espionage, Bogwang was disowned by his family, which feared the stigma of association. Before he died, Bogwang was preparing for an exhibition of his Buddhist paintings and calligraphy to raise money for an orphange he wanted to build to "compensate for the time I could not spend with my children".

When his daughter married a few years ago, Bogwant said, he was not invited. A month before his death, Bogwang attempted a reunion with his son, but his son refused to meet him. "It's all right if no one else in the world believes me," Bogwang said he told his son in a voice mail left on his cellphone. "But I want you, my son, to believe me - I never was a Communist spy."
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March 12, 2007 12:07 PM

Emulate South Korean Corporate Culture, Says Najib

ABOVE: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak (right) inspecting the guard-of-honour during his visit to the Korean Defence Ministry in Seoul. Accompanying him is Korean Defence Minister Kim Jang-Soo. Pix: Rushdan Abdul Manan
From Roslan Ariffin
SEOUL, March 12 (Bernama) -- Malaysian entrepreneurs and corporate leaders are urged to emulate the work culture adopted by their South Korean counterparts who constantly strive to face stiff competition in the global market to the extent that the country has emerged as a world economic power. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the South Korean success was all the more impressive because in the absence of any commodity, the country had managed to emerge as a world economic contributor by mastering the information and communications technology (ICT).

"We are now living in a very competitive world and we acknowledge that we are lagging behind in many areas compared to Korea. "Under the present circumstances, we have no choice but to continue to look for new business and investment opportunities besides setting up strong global networking with the other countries," he said at a meeting with Malaysian entrepreneurs, here. The deputy prime minister is here on a six-day official visit to South Korea at the invitation of President Roh Moo-Hyun. The visit ends tomorrow. Najib arrived here last Thursday after concluding a four-day visit to Japan. His visits to both countries aimed to enhance the existing diplomatic relations besides increasing bilateral trade with the two countries.

Thirty-five Malaysian entrepreneurs are participating in the visit which sees six memorandums of understanding (MOU) being signed between Malaysian and South Korean companies in the creative multimedia industry. Najib said from his observation he noted that the South Korean entrepreneurs and corporate leaders were among the major contributors to the country's success as they were most dedicated to work and were willing to spend more than 12 hours a day merely to ensure that their companies remained competitive. As such, he said, Malaysian entrepreneurs should emulate them and be aggressive in helping the government to look for new partners and networks besides attracting foreign investors to come to Malaysia. "I notice that the visits to Japan and (South) Korea have raised awareness among the Malaysian entrepreneurs to help the country in facing the increasingly competitive global business," he said.

"The purpose of such visits like this one is for us to look for and intensify efforts at increasing trade relations, investments as well as to master new technology needed by Malaysia," he said. Najib said bilateral trade between Malaysia and South Korea had increased by 26 percent last year compared to 2005 but the overall foreign direct investment from this country had declined, something that should be of concern. South Korea had invested RM1.5 billion in Malaysia for the period 2004 until 2006 involving 67 projects that provided about 3,750 employment opportunities. Malaysia is among the largest exporters of computer chips, gas and oil to South Korea while Malaysian imports from this country consisted of chemical goods, computer chips that had undergone value-added processes, ships and cars. Najib said efforts to attract foreign investors to Malaysia should not be left to government agencies such as MIDA or MATRADE alone.

"In fact, local (Malaysian) investors and companies must also play a role such as having their own research and development (R&D) programmes," he said. Meanwhile Najib, who is also the Defence Minister, continued with his tight schedule that included a meeting with the South Korean Acting Deputy Prime Minister, Kim Woo-Sik at the government complex in Gwacheon, and a meeting with the Korean Defence Minister, Kim Jang-Soo, at the Defence Ministry.
Later today, Najib is also scheduled to make a courtesy call on President Roh Moo-Hyun at Cheong Wa Dae, here. Tonight, Najib is expected to meet with Malaysian students here at the Hotel Millennium Seoul.

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