It is a matter of whether I die or Kim Jong Il dies

[imText1]Lim Chun Yong is the chairperson of Free North Korean Soldiers’ Association (a tentative name), which launched recently with an open letter to Kim Jong Il printed on various media. He had dreadfully sparkling eyes which indicated that he was desperate to fight against Kim Jong Il. He put on a solemn look with his lips closed tightly.

“North Korean people and Kim Jong Il are standing at a crossroad. Whether it is the North Korean people or Kim Jong Il who should live is an obvious question.” said Mr. Lim.

“If Kim Jong Il lives, the North Korean people will die. On the other hand, if the North Korean people live, Kim Jong Il should die. There is a deadly feud between the two parties. This is the consensus among members of Free North Korean Soldiers’ Association.”

Lim Chung Yong’s Theory of Direct Fight Against Kim Jong Il

Mr. Lim bears a personal hatred for Kim Jong Il. Mr. Lim’s family was taken to a political slave-labor concentration camp because it had been known to the North Korean authorities that Mr Lim fled to South Korea. Mr. Lim had been a captain working in the second battalion of the 19th brigade of the pacification corps in North Korea before he entered South Korea. Clenching his fists, Mr. Lim said, “My family in North Korea may also wish the Kim Jong Il regime to collapse. It is a matter of whether I die or Kim Jong Il dies.” His eyes sparkled with strong determination.

Mr. Lim emphasized that if there should be no direct action against North Korea, the regime change would not occur, and he did not think that raising the North Korean human rights issue would have any effect on the regime change. His argument may be called the Theory of Direct Fight Against Kim Jong Il, when we compare it to the Theory of Direct Fight Against Imperialism borne by student movement activists in the 80s.

The members of the Free North Korean Soldiers’ Association are North Korean defectors who were commandos when they were in the North. Mr. Lim said they would wage some direct fight, the details of which cannot be revealed. He also mentioned that he was confident that once they moved, anti-Kim Jong Il soldiers would also move in the North Korean army. He suggested that he had some connections in the North Korean army.

Mr. Lim said they would start their operation soon after they had a press conference.

“I will risk my life to avenge my family”

– So far there have been several groups and societies for North Korean human rights, and democratization. I think your organization is unique.

North Korean defectors can understand and picture the realities of North Korea from the bottom of their hearts. That’s why it is their duty to raise their voices about North Korea. I think it is time to change gears from rallying against Kim Jong Il in the street to directly fighting against him.

– I don’t think it is easy to make such a resolution.

In 2003, the North Korean authorities came to know that I had entered South Korea. That’s why all my family was taken to a political slave-labor concentration camp. I feel a sense of guilt about my family. My family may also want the North Korean people to proceed to freedom and democracy. It is my duty to risk my life to help them.

– Are you sure you can manage to do such dangerous things? They even require strict maintenance of security and regulation.

I became a member of the special forces when I was 17. Ex-commandos are fundamentally different from ordinary people. We share the congenial spirit. We’ve had some financial difficulties and been exposed to some danger, but we’ve overcome such difficulties during the past two years because of our congeniality.

North Korean people and Kim Jong Il are at a crossroad of choice. The choice of which party should live must be obvious: North Korean people must live. The North Korean regime is a failure. People like us, who have many ideas about the inside of the North Korean regime, must come out to help change the regime.

– Regime change is not as easy as it is said.

North Korea is on the edge of collapse. Despite Kim Jong Il’s Military First Policy, military spirit is slack and soldiers are full of complaints. Before I escaped from North Korea, these phenomena had been existent. They are more severe now.

– Are you going to contact North Korean soldiers in order to change the Kim Jong Il regime?

We are ex-G.I.’s. I was a captain in the pacification corps. Some members were higher than me when they were in the North Korean army. We are sure we still have some influences on North Korean commandos. I hope you understand that I cannot tell you any details about what we are going to do.

Ex-G.I. defectors are confident of the North Korean regime’s collapse. They suffered the great famine of the 90s, human rights abuses, or political prisoner camps. The incident where an infant was abducted and eaten near a missile launcher in Hakmu laborers district of Jagang-do, Jinchun-gun occurred just next to our military camp. The North Korean regime has been making people into beasts.

“There will be a second and third Lim Chung Yong”

– Even if the realities are horrible, it is difficult to draw actions from people.

We think that North Korea is on its way to collapse. We are concerned about our families, and friends in the army, let alone the matter of unification and the people. We will be able to show our actions. This confidence is due to my experience.

It is a matter of whether I die or Kim Jong Il dies. If I die, there will be a second and third Lim Chun Yong. I trust my friends. I am confident that I can make some of my friends in North Korea liaisons, and deploy ourselves simultaneously.

– What do you think of the Six Party Talks, and various kinds of international pressure on North Korea by raising human rights, drugs, and forgery issues?

I don’t think they have any effect on changing the North Korean regime. Each country in the international society has its own interest regarding North Korea. The North Korean problem cannot be solved internationally. Its insiders must act promptly and accordingly.

– What is the public reaction to your association like?

We are receiving a lot of encouragement. But we still need more support from South Korean people and international societies. It is the duty of the Free North Korean Solders’ Association to change the North Korean regime. We owe our families and friends who were killed because of us. We have to pay off our debts. We think that once we can make our descendants live in a free democratic society, our debts will be cleared.

– Some South Korean youngsters sympathize with the Kim Jong Il regime, or long for Communism.

You should not see the North Korean regime from a sympathetic or emotional perspective. I am sorry to see some youngsters easily hooked by Kim Jong Il’s propaganda. I wish to have a chance to meet those youngsters because I think I can open their eyes to the realities of North Korea.

– Do you have something in mind to tell the South Korean people?

If the President is mistaken, the foundation of our nation is in danger. If people are deluded, we lose our nest. South Korean people must clearly discern Kim Jong Il’s propaganda and understand the North Korean regime. Kim Jong Il holds North Korean people hostage for his wealth and hegemony. We must decide whether Kim Jong Il prospers or 23 million North Korean people survive. South Koreans must clearly understand this. You should never do anything that could be of help to Kim Jong Il.

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