[imText1]Many South Korean politicians have been paying tribute to Hwang Jang Yop at the memorial set up in Hyundai Asan Hospital today.
Lee Hoi Chang, the leader of the minority Liberty Forward Party and a former presidential candidate, visited the memorial this morning, leaving a short message in the visitors’ book, “Great man, may your soul rest in peace.”
As he was leaving, Lee also commented, “Hwang Jang Yop was someone who proved the reality of the division of North and South and held onto the faith that the North Korean system could be changed until the end of his life,” adding, “This warrants state condolences.”
He stressed, “I hope the people will remember him not as an individual, Hwang Jang Yop, or a simple defector, but as a righteous person who came to the South to solve Korea’s problems.”
President Lee’s Minister for Special Affairs Lee Jae Oh also visited today, expressing his condolences before the portrait of Hwang.
Leader of the Grand National Party Kim Moo Sung expressed his condolences, saying, “Scholar Hwang Jang Yop came to the South after even sacrificing his family to let the world know the suffering of the North Korean people.” Therefore, he added, “It offered an opportunity for many pro-North Korea people to change their opinion.”
He added, “I am very sorry that he passed way without witnessing the collapse of the Kim Jong Il regime and liberation of North Korean people, which he wanted so much.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Unification released a statement on Hwang’s passing in today’s press briefing: “We evaluate highly his efforts to report correctly the reality of North Korea both domestically and internationally, to improve North Korean human rights and to achieve reform and opening and reunification.”