UPDATE : 2019.12.13 FRI 09:50
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N. Korea purging descendants of anti-Japanese guerrillas: defector

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is currently purging the descendants of prominent guerrillas who fought against Japanese colonialists, a former North Korean embassy minister in London who defected to Seoul last year said Friday.

During a meeting with officials from the Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation, former North Korean diplomat Thae Yong-ho claimed Kim Jong-un is currently purging the descendants from key posts in Pyongyang.

Thae Yong-ho, former No. 2 diplomat at North Korea's embassy in London (Yonhap)

The remark is significant as the descendants played a crucial role in the successful transition of power to Kim Jong-un from his father. The descendants have also been considered a privileged group in Pyongyang.

"The North Korean regime should be dismantled by separating Kim Jong-un and other elites," Thae was also quoted as saying by the committee. "In order to have them betray Kim, the upper bracket of North Korea must believe that they will face no disadvantages in a unified Korea."

Thae also implied South Korean President Kim Dae-jung's signature "sunshine policy," under which his administration pursued reconciliation and cooperation with the North, was positive in terms to establishing peace.

"We need to provide aid to North Korea, but there must also be stronger surveillance," Thae said.

Choi Yun-seok  edt@koreapost.com

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