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Tags: korea | defector | warfare | ideology

N. Korea Defector Urges 'Ideological Warfare'

Wednesday, 31 March 2010 08:30 PM EDT

WASHINGTON — North Korea's highest-ranking defector on Wednesday said that "ideological warfare" and Chinese pressure can help bring down the hardline regime, as he paid a tightly guarded trip to the United States.

Hwang Jang-Yop, a former secretary of North Korea's ruling Workers Party, is credited with developing the regime's ideology of "juche," or self-reliance. He defected to South Korea in 1997 on a visit to Beijing.

Hwang is at the top of North Korea's hit-list and his visit was kept closely under wraps, with a security detail closely following him. It was his second trip to Washington.

Speaking to a small audience at a think-tank, Hwang discounted the options either of attacking or engaging Kim Jong-Il's regime and said it was instead crucial to show North Koreans about human rights violations in their midst.

"The solution is ideological warfare. We need to focus on the people of North Korea and alert them to the human rights abuses that are taking place," he said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"Simply trying to make Kim Jong-Il die would not be the solution," he said, referring to the North Korean leader whose health condition is a matter of great speculation.

"We don't need to resort to force. We need to use ideology and markets and diplomacy. We need to take a lesson from the Cold War," he said.

Hwang, 87, sported a neatly pressed Western suit and spoke lucidly but showed signs of his age, struggling with his translation headset and occasionally repeating his remarks.

While unsure about Kim's current health, Hwang revealed that he did not find Kim to be the anti-American ideologue as it would appear from North Korean propaganda.

"Deep down, when he's talking in private with his henchmen, he never speaks ill about the United States," he said. "Rather, privately it's China that he talks about in a very bad spirit."

"China is the lifeline of North Korea," he said. "If China ever broke with North Korea, it would be the death knell for the regime."

China is the main economic and political supporter of North Korea. South Korea has said it expects Kim to visit China soon, raising hopes in Washington that Beijing will put pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear program.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010 08:30 PM
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