An appeals court handed down a three-year jail term to a South Korean man Tuesday for attempting to assassinate the highest North Korean official to have ever defected here.
Upholding a lower court's decision, the Seoul High Court found the man, identified only by his surname Park, guilty of collaborating with another South Korean who said he was ordered by "a group associated with China" to assassinate Hwang Jang-yop.
Hwang, known as the main architect of the North's "juche," or self-reliance ideology, was said to have tutored late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and played a key role in his rise to power. He was the highest-ranking North Korean official to have ever defected to South Korea.
Park was indicted in May last year on charges of plotting the act from November 2009 to October 2010 and taking 25 million won ($21,300) for his role.
Hwang died of heart failure in October 2010, when the two were allegedly preparing for the assassination. (Yonhap)