Lim Su-kyung

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Lim Su-kyung
임수경 or 림수경
Member of the National Assembly
Assumed office
30 May 2012
Constituency Proportional Representation №21
Personal details
Born (1968-11-06) 6 November 1968 (age 48)
Seoul, South Korea
Political party Democratic United Party
Alma mater Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
Religion Buddhist
Lim Su-kyung
Hangul 임수경 and 림수경
Revised Romanization Im Su-gyeong
McCune–Reischauer Im Su-gyŏng

Lim Su-kyung (also spelled as Lim Soo-kyung; Hangul임수경, 림수경; Hanja林秀卿; born 6 November 1968) is a South Korean activist and politician. She is best known for attending the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students, held in North Korea and praising North Korean leader Kim Il Sung in 1989, without first obtaining permission from the South Korean government.[1] She attended the festival representing the student organization Jeondaehyop, now known as Hanchongryun. Upon her return to South Korea, she was arrested and sentenced to 5 years' imprisonment.

Activism and political career[edit]

Lim was given the nickname Flower of Unification or Flower of Reunification (Hangul통일의 꽃)[1] by the North Korean government after she visited Pyongyang. She was arrested on charges of violating the National Security Act after she returned to the South through Panmunjom.[1]

She was sentenced to prison for a term of 5 years, but served 2 years and six months before her release on good behavior. She was pardoned in 1999 by South Korean President Kim Dae-jung. Lim claims that her attendance at the Festival was a purely selfless act.[citation needed]

In April 2012, she was elected as a member of the 19th National Assembly as the Democratic United Party's 21st proportional representative.[2]

In June 2012, Lim made remarks that were derogatory towards North Korean defectors, referring to one of them as a "son-of-a-bitch betrayer" and another as a "traitor" in what has been described by Korea JoonAng Daily as "an alcohol-fueled tirade at a Seoul restaurant", questioning their legitimacy to challenge her as a lawmaker.[3] This led to public protests.[3]

The Argentinian filmmaker José Luis García made the 2012 documentary La chica del sur ("The Girl From the South"), focusing on Lim, as well as his experience participating in the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students, where he met her.[4] The film shows Lim's struggle for a united Korea in 1989, and two further reunions between her and Garcia in South Korea and Argentina in 2012. La chica del sur tries to show the development of her thoughts and character after years of media attention, prison, the death of her son and divorce. It was shown and awarded in the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival (BAFICI) 2012 and Lakino festival 2013.[5] In 2014 the documentary was awarded the Argentine Film Critics Association Silver Condor (Cóndor de Plata) for Best Documentary.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Lee Jong-tak(이종탁) (29 September 2009). 이종탁이 만난 사람, 통일의 꽃 임수경 [Interview with Lee Jong-tak, the flower of unification: Lim Su-kyung]. Monthly Kyunghyang (in Korean). Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  2. ^ 비례대표 당선자 명단: 민주통합당 [List of elected proportional representatives: DUP]. Segye Finance news (in Korean). 12 April 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "For defector-traitor tirade, Lim apologizes anew". Korea Joongang Daily. 5 June 2012. 
  4. ^ La chica del sur IMDb
  5. ^ La chica del sur - Official Site
  6. ^ "Wakolda" won seven awards and dominated the Silver Condor night Télam

See also[edit]

External links[edit]