Monday, April 29, 2013

Veteran spies still believe in North Korea

Park Hee-sung, a 78-year-old North Korean former agent who has been held in the enemy South for close to half a century, remains staunchly loyal to his homeland, the ruling Kim family and its Juche ideology of economic self-reliance.

A trim, neat man, Park is one of around two dozen North Korean operatives trapped in exile in affluent South Korea. He lives in a charity house in central Seoul with another former agent, 79-year-old Kim Young-sik, and dreams of the day he can return freely to the northern part of a unified Korea.

For Park and Kim, North Korea, which for several weeks has threatened the United States and South Korea with nuclear war, is no menace to world peace, rather a plucky nation that single-handedly stands up to American bullying.