Rep. Lim Su-kyung of the main opposition Democratic United Party, who came under fire for bombarding North Korean defectors with abusive remarks, was once a star activist in the radical pro-unification circles.
Lim became embroiled in controversy on Sunday as a North Korea defector college student revealed the verbal insults she made against other defectors and Rep. Ha Tae-keung, a former activist who recently joined the conservative Saenuri Party.
Student activist Lim made an unauthorized visit to the communist state in 1989 and met its founder Kim Il-sung, grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un.
|Lim Su-kyung is arrested after she returned from an unauthorized visit to North Korea in 1989. (The Korea Herald file)|
Her bold actions caused stirs in the ideology-sensitive South, but seemingly impressed the residents of the reclusive state, who nicknamed her the “flower of unification.”
She was also conferred by the North Korea government an honorary award for her contribution to the peninsular unification.
An online newspaper for North Korean defectors here even described Lim as a first-generation Hallyu star in the communist state.
After returning to her home country, Lim was sentenced to a five-year jail term for breaching the National Security Law, but was granted amnesty in 1999 under former liberal President Kim Dae-jung.
She has since then been engaged in social movements until joining the leading liberal party in April as a proportional representative candidate.
By Bae Hyun-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org