Unconverted long-term prisoners

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North Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 비전향 장기수
Hancha
Revised Romanization Bijeonhyang Janggisu
McCune–Reischauer Pijŏnhyang Changgisu
South Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 미전향 장기수
Hancha
Revised Romanization Mijeonhyang Janggisu
McCune–Reischauer Mijŏnhyang Changgisu
Literally, "not-yet-converted long-term prisoners"

Unconverted long-term prisoners is the North Korean term for northern loyalists imprisoned in South Korea who never renounced Juche. The North Korean government considers them to be "pro-reunification patriotic fighters",[1] while South Korean scholars have described them as "pro-communist spies".[2]

History[edit]

In March 1998, South Korean president Kim Dae-jung declared an amnesty for long-term prisoners over the age of 70, as well as some suffering from disease.[3] In February 1999, President Kim declared another amnesty for 17 unconverted long-term prisoners.[4] In 2000, as part of the June 15th North–South Joint Declaration, sixty-three of the prisoners were permitted to settle in North Korea. There were hopes that North Korea would reciprocate by releasing Southern prisoners of war still detained in the North.[5] A number of them left behind family members in the South; the South's Ministry of Unification refused permission to let the family members go north with them.[6][7] They crossed the border by bus through the truce village of Panmunjom at 10 AM on 2 September 2000, while a group of Southern protesters decried their return and demanded that the North return abducted Southerners; they were welcomed on the Northern side by a reception with a brass band playing revolutionary songs,[8] and each was later awarded the National Reunification Prize.[1]

In literature and film[edit]

A book about their experiences was published in North Korea in 2001.[9] In 2003, South Korean director Kim Dong-won released Repatriation, a documentary about the unconverted prisoners, based on more than 12 years and 800 hours of filming.[10]

List of prisoners who crossed over to North Korea in 2000[edit]

Following is a list of the 63 prisoners who went to North Korea in 2000.[11][12][13]

Personal names are given in McCune–Reischauer romanisation of the Northern spelling (thus surnames are spelled Ri instead of Yi, Ryu instead of Yu, etc.); place names are given in McCune–Reischauer without diacritics for places now in North Korea, and Revised Romanisation for places now in South Korea.

Name Hangul Hanja Birth/death dates Place of birth Province of birth Years in
prison
Notes
Kang Tong-gŭn 강동근 (1916-11-19)19 November 1916
12 February 2004(2004-02-12) (aged 87)
Hadong Gyeongsangnam-do 37 Obituary published by KCNA[14]
Kim Tong-gi 김동기 金東基 or
金東起
(1932-11-19)19 November 1932 Tanchon South Hamgyong 34 Interviewed by Kyunghyang Shinmun before his repatriation. Published a book of essays about his experiences (새는 앉는 곳마다 깃을 남긴다, ISBN 978-89-88996-04-1).[15] Two different hanja versions of his name have been reported in the media.[16][17] Birthdate given as (1932-10-19)19 October 1932 in 70th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[18] In August 2005, the KCNA reported in that he gave a speech to a visiting group of students from the Chongryon-affiliated Korea University.[19]
Kim Myŏng-su 김명수 (1922-05-01)1 May 1922 Hamhung South Hamgyong 37 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA[20]
Kim Sŏk-hyŏng 김석형 (1914-03-18)18 March 1914
14 August 2006(2006-08-14) (aged 92)
Pakchon North Pyongan 30 Also spelled Kim Suk-hyung. One of the prisoners featured in the movie Repatriation.[21] Obituary published by KCNA.[22]
Kim Sŏn-myŏng 김선명 (1925-02-20)20 February 1925 Yangpyeong Gyeonggi-do 45 Also spelled Kim Sun-myung. Joined the Korean People's Army due to disgust over the prevalence of Japanese collaborators in the South Korean administration. Captured on 15 October 1951, and sentenced to death; sentence commuted to life imprisonment. Family refused to see him; had him declared legally dead in 1975. Released in 1995. Blind due to cataracts left untreated by prison doctors.[23] His experiences were the basis for the 2002 film The Road Taken, starring Kim Jung-gi.[24]
Kim Yŏng-dal 김영달 (1934-03-18)18 March 1934 Yeongdeok Gyeongsangbuk-do 30 70th birthday congratulations published by KCNA[25]
Kim Yŏng-man 김영만 (1924-11-15)15 November 1924 Gurye Jeollanam-do 30 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[26] An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in September 2008.[27]
Kim Yŏng-tae 김영태 (1931-07-23)23 July 1931
14 January 2008(2008-01-14) (aged 76)
Kwaksan North Pyongan 35 Also spelled Kim Yong-thae. Trapped in South Korea after the Korean War, and fought as a guerilla in the Jirisan area. Obituary published by KCNA.[28]
Kim Yŏng-gyu 김용규 (1923-06-22)22 June 1923 Boseong Jeollanam-do 34 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA[29]
Kim Yong-su 김용수 (1931-09-30)30 September 1931 Gyeongju Gyeongsangbuk-do 27 KCNA gives his year of birth as 1932 in an announcement of his 70th birthday.[30] An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in June 2003.[31]
Kim U-taek 김우택 (1919-10-28)28 October 1919 Andong Gyeongsangbuk-do 40 90th birthday congratulations published by KCNA[32]
Kim Ŭn-hwan 김은환 (1930-07-12)12 July 1930 Gwangju Gyeonggi-do 31 Also spelled Kim Eun-hwan. Released in the February 1999 amnesty.[33] Joined the Korean Painters' Union after moving to the North.[34]
Kim Ik-jin 김익진 (1932-07-13)13 July 1932
8 July 2008(2008-07-08) (aged 75)
Yeongdeok Gyeongsangbuk-do 31 Also known as Kim Il-jin.[11] Released in the February 1999 amnesty.[33] Obituary published by KCNA.[35]
Kim In-su 김인수 (1926-11-18)18 November 1926 Tokchon South Pyongan 34 In June 2001, KCNA reported that he gave a speech to a delegation of visiting students from Korea University f Japan.[36]
Kim In-sŏ 김인서 (1924-05-27)27 May 1924
17 August 2008(2008-08-17) (aged 84)
Daegu Gyeongsangbuk-do 36 Applied to resettle in the North in 1996, but was rejected.[37] Obituary published by KCNA.[38]
Kim Chong-ho 김종호 (1916-08-02)2 August 1916
21 November 2003(2003-11-21) (aged 87)
Gimcheon Gyeongsangbuk-do 31 Obituary published by KCNA[39]
Kim Chung-jong 김중종 (1926-04-02)2 April 1926 Gimcheon Gyeongsangbuk-do 29 Received a doctorate in linguistics in 2003.[40] 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[41]
Kim Chang-wŏn 김창원 金昌源 (1934-10-27)27 October 1934 Yeongdeungpo-gu Seoul 31 70th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[42] An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in April 2006.[43] Interviewed by The Pyongyang Times in September 2008.[44]
Ko Kwang-in 고광인 (1935-01-05)5 January 1935 Gochang Jeollabuk-do 34 An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in May 2003.[45] KCNA published 70th birthday congratulations in February 2005, but did not give a birthdate.[46]
Ryu Un-hyŏng 류운형 (1924-12-26)26 December 1924
22 November 2008(2008-11-22) (aged 83)
Riwon South Hamgyong 34 Prior to his arrest, held various political posts including head of the Youth Department of the Chorwon, Kangwon, Committee of the WPK and chief of the education section of the Information Department of the Kangwon Provincial Committee of the WPK. Obituary published by KCNA.[47]
Ryu Yŏn-chŏl 류연철 (1912-02-13)13 February 1912 Andong Gyeongsangbuk-do 27 KCNA gives his date of birth as (1912-03-26)26 March 1912 in his 90th birthday announcement[48]
Ryu Han-uk 류한욱 (1911-05-24)24 May 1911 Cholsan North Pyongan 37 KCNA gives his year of birth as 1917 in his 90th birthday announcement[49]
Ri Kyŏng-gu 리경구 (1930-03-04)4 March 1930 Gongju Chungcheongnam-do 38 An essay of his was published in the Rodong Sinmun in June 2006.[50] 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[51]
Ri Kyŏng-chan 리경찬 (1935-11-15)15 November 1935 Kaesong 35 Joined the Korean Painters' Union after his return to the North.[34] 70th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[52] Essays of his were printed in the Rodong Sinmun in February 2005 and December 2006.[53][54]
Ri Kong-sun 리공순 (1934-12-03)3 December 1934 Seosan Chungcheongnam-do 33 70th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[55] An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in November 2006.[56]
Ri Tu-gyun 리두균 (1926-04-02)2 April 1926 Chungju Chungcheongbuk-do 31 An essay of his was published in the Rodong Sinmun in October 2004.[57] 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[41]
Ri Se-gyun 리세균 (1922-01-15)15 January 1922 Jeonju Jeollabuk-do 30 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA[58]
Ri Chae-ryong 리재룡 (1945-10-03)3 October 1945 Yangyang Gangwon-do 30 First daughter Ri Chuk-bok (리축복) born (2002-07-24)24 July 2002, according to KCNA[59]
Ri Jong 리종 (1911-08-09)9 August 1911 Yeongdong Chungcheongbuk-do 25 Birth date stated as (1911-09-25)September 25, 1911 in 90th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[60] An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in October 2006.[61]
Ri Jong-hwan 리종환 (1922-10-07)7 October 1922
30 April 2001(2001-04-30) (aged 78)
Incheon 43 Obituary published by KCNA[62]
Pak Mun-jae 박문재 (1922-09-14)14 September 1922 Kaesong 28 Imprisoned in Daejeon; released in 1993. Still alive as of 2004, according to KCNA.[63]
Pak Wan-gyu 박완규 (1929-04-10)10 April 1929 Cheongwon Chungcheongbuk-do 33 An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in December 2006.[64]
Pang Chae-sun 방재순 (1917-02-25)25 February 1917 Hoengseong Gangwon-do 38 An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in November 2006.[65] 90th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[66]
Sŏk Yong-hwa 석용화 (1925-04-08)8 April 1925 Yangsan Gyeongsangnam-do 20 Married to Lee Chun-ja of South Korea; two daughters. Left them behind to cross over to North Korea.[6] 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[67]
Son Sŏng-mo 손성모 孫聖模 (1930-01-15)15 January 1930 Buan Jeollabuk-do 19 Released in June 2000.[68] An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in July 2006.[69] 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[70]
Song Sang-jun 송상준 (1927-07-29)29 July 1927 Busan 36 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA[49]
Sin Kwang-su 신광수 辛光洙 (1929-06-27)27 June 1929 Yangsan Gyeongsangnam-do 15 Also spelled Shin Gwang-su. Born in Shizuoka, Japan according to some reports.[13] Released in June 2000.[68] Wanted in Japan for his alleged role in North Korean abductions of Japanese.[71][72][73]
Sin Rin-su 신린수 (1918-04-01)1 April 1918 Cheongdo Gyeongsangbuk-do 30 Worked in a coal mine in his youth. 90th birthday congratulations published in the The Pyongyang Times.[74]
Sin In-yŏng 신인영 (1929-12-06)6 December 1929 Buan Jeollabuk-do 32 Also spelled Shin In-young. Served in the Korean People's Army during the Korean War; returned to the South as a spy and was arrested in 1967. Believed to have a wife, son, and two daughters in the North; his mother, Koh Bong-hee, continued to reside in the South.[6] Imprisoned in Daejeon. Released in the March 1998 amnesty. Suffering from leukaemia. At the time of his release, he stated, "now I want to take care of my mother for the rest of her life".[3] However, he bid farewell to her in 2000 and crossed over to North Korea with 62 other long-term prisoners, in a scene captured in Kim Dong-won's 2000 movie Repatriation.[21] She died in 2002.[75]
An Yong-gi 안영기 (1929-06-19)19 June 1929 Gumi Gyeongsangbuk-do 38 Also spelled Ahn Young-gi. Prior to his arrest, designed the Okryu Restaurant in Pyongyang.[76] Released in the February 1999 amnesty.[33] Joined the Korean Painters' Union after his return to the North.[34]
Yang Chŏng-ho 양정호 (1931-04-03)3 April 1931 Yangsan Gyeongsangnam-do 31 Released in the February 1999 amnesty.[33] Joined the Korean Painters' Union after moving to the North.[34] An essay of his was published in the Rodong Sinmun in August 2004.[77]
O Hyŏng-sik 오형식 (1932-01-24)24 January 1932
3 September 2006(2006-09-03) (aged 74)
Siheung Gyeonggi-do 31 An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in June 2006.[78] Obituary published by KCNA.[79]
U Yong-gak 우용각 (1929-11-29)29 November 1929 Nyongbyon North Pyongan 42 Also spelled Woo Yong-gak. Was captured in a North Korean commando raid in Southern waters in 1959.[3] At the time of his release under Kim Dae-jung's amnesty in 1999, was believed to be the world's longest-serving political prisoner.[4]
Yun Yong-gi 윤용기 (1926-08-02)2 August 1926
13 June 2001(2001-06-13) (aged 74)
Ganghwa Gyeonggi-do 40 Obituary published by KCNA[80]
Yun Hŭi-bo 윤희보 (1917-10-10)10 October 1917 Gwangju Gyeonggi-do 25 90th birthday congratulations published by KCNA[81]
Im Pyŏng-ho 임병호 (1916-09-01)1 September 1916 Boryeong Chungcheongnam-do 32 An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in December 2006.[82]
Chang Pyŏng-rak 장병락 (1934-07-25)25 July 1934
11 October 2009(2009-10-11) (aged 75)
Kowon South Hamgyong 38 Also spelled Jang Byong-lak. Released in the February 1999 amnesty.[33] Obituary published by KCNA.[83]
Chang Ho 장호 (1920-11-29)29 November 1920 Mapo-gu Seoul 32 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[84] Gave a lecture to a visiting group of students from Korea University of Japan in October 2003.[85] An essay of his entitled "Society and Morality" was published in the Rodong Sinmun in October 2005.[86]
Chŏn Chin 전진 (1923-07-06)6 July 1923 Gunsan Jeollabuk-do 38 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA[87]
Chŏn Ch'ang-gi 전창기 (1918-04-10)10 April 1918 Buyeo Chungcheongnam-do 23 Also spelled Jon Chang-gi. 90th birthday congratulations published in The Pyongyang Times.[74]
Cho Ch'ang-son 조창손 (1929-08-29)29 August 1929 Ryongyon South Hwanghae 30 In poor health. Has a wife and two sons in the North.[8]
Ch'oi Sŏn-muk 최선묵 (1928-07-01)1 July 1928 Ganghwa Gyeonggi-do 38 Released in the February 1999 amnesty.[33] Joined the Korean Painters' Union after moving to the North.[34] An essay of his was published in the Rodong Sinmun in March 2005.[88]
Ch'oi Su-il 최수일 (1939-05-25)25 May 1939 Uiju North Pyongan 35
Ch'oi Ha-jong 최하종 (1927-03-21)21 March 1927 Kimchaek North Hamgyong 36 Joined the Korean Painters' Union after his return to the North.[34] 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[89]
Han Paek-ryŏl 한백렬 (1920-02-16)16 February 1920
13 May 2009(2009-05-13) (aged 89)
Gwangju Gyeonggi-do 23 Obituary published by KCNA[90]
Han Chang-ho 한장호 (1923-05-01)1 May 1923 Myongchon North Hamgyong 39 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA[91]
Han Chong-ho 한종호 (1918-01-31)31 January 1918 Hamhung South Hamgyong 13 Left behind a son, Han Young-su. His wife did not attend his farewell.[6] 90th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[92]
Han Chun-ik 한춘익 (1925-06-10)10 June 1925 Hamhung South Hamgyong 29 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA[93]
Ham Se-hwan 함세환 (1932-12-12)12 December 1932 Ongjin South Hwanghae 34 Applied for repatriation in 1993 (at the time of Ri In-mo's repatriation) and again in 1996, but was denied both times.[37][94] The KCNA reports that a daughter was born to him on (2003-03-19)19 March 2003.[95] In December 2006, an essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun.[96]
Hong Kyŏng-sŏn 홍경선 (1925-05-21)21 May 1925 Cheonan Chungcheongnam-do 33 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[97] An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in December 2005.[98]
Hong Myŏng-gi 홍명기 (1929-04-05)5 April 1929 Buyeo Chungcheongnam-do 38 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA[99]
Hong Mun-gŏ 홍문거 (1921-09-14)14 September 1921 Pyongyang 37 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA[100]
Hwang Yong-gap 황용갑 (1924-05-28)28 May 1924 Hadong Gyeongsangnam-do 35 Released in 1989. Married a woman surnamed Kim, but did not tell her about his past as a communist agent; she only learned of it in late 1999.[6] 80th birthday congratulations published by KCNA.[101] An essay of his was printed in the Rodong Sinmun in 2006.[102]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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