Weekend Reads She killed 115 people before the last Korean Olympics. Now she wonders: ‘Can my sins be pardoned?’
Sabres' AHL club signs Gionta to tryout ahead of PyeongChang 2018
Brian Gionta is getting a chance to get back into game action. The former Buffalo Sabres captain, who's been named to Team USA's roster for the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, has signed a one-game tryout with the Rochester Americans, the Sabres' AHL affiliate.Related: Gionta, Wisniewski highlight U.S. men's Olympic roster"Brian has been practicing with us on a regular basis since early in the season," Americans general manager Randy Sexton said in a statement.
But now, the reminders of what Kim Hyon-hui once did again seem to be everywhere. South Korea is hosting the Winter Olympics this month, and even seeing the Olympic rings gives her flashbacks to 30 years ago, the other time this country was preparing to host the Games. Then, Kim was an elite North Korean agent.
She was acting on national orders. She boarded a South Korean passenger plane, carrying a time bomb. She left the bomb in an overhead bin. She exited the plane during a layover. The plane blew up. There was a manhunt for the perpetrators. Kim was captured. And then, Kim was taken for the first time to South Korea, arrested for an act of terrorism that killed 115 people and was designed to derail the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.
28 Russians have Olympic doping bans lifted
PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of - Twenty-eight Russian athletes have had their Olympic doping bans overturned, throwing the International Olympic Committee's policy on Russian doping into turmoil. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled on Thursday that evidence was "insufficient" that the 28 — including several medallists — had broken anti-doping rules at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The 28 who had their bans lifted could now seek late entry into the Pyeongchang Games, which open Feb. 9.Eleven more were ruled to have been guilty of doping, but had lifetime bans cut to a ban from the Pyeongchang Games alone.
Thirty years later, Kim's life speaks to the disorienting contrasts on the Korean Peninsula, where the Olympics can be peaceful or deadly, unifying or dividing, and where a terrorist can become a housewife who says she's excited to watch the 2018 Games on TV. "In North Korea, I lived as Kim Il Sung's robot," Kim said in an interview. "In South Korea, I got to live a new life."
Though Kim has tried to establish a mostly quiet existence, the issues that prompted her initial mission still resonate, with the Olympics, which begin Friday, again testing how the North will respond to a global celebration on the soil of its rival. In 1988, North Korea pushed to co-host the Summer Games, failed to strike a deal, and instead launched a campaign of violence aimed at making the event untenable. This time, the North and South agreed to march together in the Opening Ceremonies, sharing a flag and fielding a joint women's ice hockey team, a show of unity that belies years of tensions.
Drone catchers and face-detecting planes will guard the Olympics
South Korean authorities are adopting some pretty high-tech security measures for the upcoming Winter Olympics, including the deployment of drone-catching-drones and a tactical plane with facial recognition. More than being worried about photographers taking unauthorized photos of the games, the Pyeongchang Olympics anti-Terrorism and Safety team are apparently concerned about the possibility of terrorists using drones to drop or plant bombs. In fact, team members have also been training to shoot drones out of the sky, in case their own drones aren't enough.
Kim says that her deadly role in the bombing of Korean Air Lines Flight 858 is something that leaves her sorry and ashamed. "Can my sins be pardoned?" she said. "They probably won't be."
Kim, who has given a handful of interviews about the bombing in recent months as the Winter Olympics approached, spoke expansively about her new life in South Korea. She no longer resembles the spy who was given eight years of physical and ideological training. She is 57 years old. She lives on the outskirts of South Korea's third-largest city. She wears glasses and keeps her hair short. She no longer practices taekwondo. She no longer has an interest in knife combat or code-cracking.
But recently, she was watching television and saw another reminder of her past: footage of her arrival in South Korea, in December 1987, when she descended the steps of a plane, under arrest, surrounded by men in suits. At that moment, she wasn't yet cooperating with investigators. At that moment, she hadn't yet admitted she was a North Korean. At that moment, she had already once tried to kill herself rather than talk, and she was wearing a device on her mouth to prevent her from biting off her tongue. The first part of her life was ending, and Kim remembers never considering there would be
1,200 Olympic guards withdrawn over virus outbreak
1,200 Olympic guards withdrawn over virus outbreakOut of the group, 41 suffered a sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhoea on Sunday.
"I feared interrogation," she said. "I thought it was the end. I thought I was in the last months of my life. In my head, I was singing a North Korean revolutionary song."
Groomed to be a warrior
Kim's life as a spy — and what ultimately became her mission to disrupt the Olympics — began during her second year of studying at the Pyongyang Foreign Language College, when she was called to the dean's office, and met there by a man from the Central Party. What followed was several rounds of interviews, and finally, a handshake from a special agent. "You have been chosen by the Party," he said, according to an account from a book Kim wrote, published in 1991. The agent told Kim to pack her belongings, say goodbye to her family, and be ready to leave the next day.
She was, from that point on, groomed to be a warrior in North Korea's army of international spies. She studied Japanese. She was given a false passport and a fake name — Mayumi Hachiya. She was introduced to an older male spy who'd pose as her Japanese father. And then, one day, she was chauffeured to a foreign intelligence building and told about her mission — to destroy a South Korean airliner. "By destroying this plane," Kim in her book quoted an intelligence director saying, "we intend to increase this sense of chaos and ultimately prevent the Olympic Games from taking place in Seoul." The orders for her mission, she said, were handwritten by Kim Jong Il, Kim Il Sung's son and heir apparent.
Olympic officials testing 1,200 Pyeongchang security workers for norovirus
PYEONGCHANG—About 1,200 people working security at the Pyeongchang Olympics are being kept in their rooms while they’re tested for norovirus.Lee Hee-beom, chairman of the Pyeongchang Olympics organizing committee, said Tuesday that they’ll be sequestered until they’re declared well.He says results of tests on the workers will come out soon.Pyeongchang’s Olympic organizing committee said Monday that officials started investigating a norovirus outbreak after 41 security guards suffered diarrhea and vomiting.Officials are examining food and water sources at a mountainside facility in Pyeongchang where the guards had been staying and also inspecting 18 other facilities that rely on grou
When Kim heard of the plan, she did not think of the lives involved. The plot, she said, was a "technical operation." Kim and the older agent were given cyanide-tipped cigarettes, to be used in the event they were captured. They were told to kill themselves rather than reveal information.
In the weeks leading up to the bombing, according to Kim's account and South Korea's investigation, Kim and the other agent traveled across Europe, posing as Japanese tourists. Then, in Belgrade, they connected with two other agents, who handed off the weapon of choice: a time bomb disguised as a portable Panasonic radio, amplified by liquid explosives in a liquor bottle. Kim and her fellow agent flew to Baghdad with the weapon. In Baghdad, Kim activated the timer and boarded a Korean Air flight to Abu Dhabi. She placed the bomb in a shopping bag and stowed it above her seat. She and the other agent exited the plane in Abu Dhabi. Several hours later, the plane blew up over the Andaman Sea. Many of the passengers were South Koreans with energy jobs in the Middle East, going home to see their families.
Kim, initially, didn't know if the plot had worked. She didn't know about the news alert that went off in South Korea, or about the 300 people who rushed to the airport in Seoul, weeping and frantic. But what Kim did know is that she had to quickly return to Pyongyang, taking a convoluted series of flights, and it was in Bahrain where authorities stopped them, having noticed their suspicious travel patterns. "Can I see your passports?" one of the authorities said, and soon Kim and the other agent realized they'd been cornered. The two spies bit down on their cigarettes. The older agent died. But Kim did not. When she awoke, her left hand was cuffed to a hospital bed, an oxygen tube in her nose. Men in combat fatigues stood around her, machine guns cocked.
'Hearts are just broken': woman injured in B.C. Interior crash dies
'Hearts are just broken': woman injured in B.C. Interior crash dies She was described as a skilled horse rider, a community-minded volunteer and a loving wife whose absence is already felt in Cranbrook, B.C.Joan MacKinnon, a woman critically injured in a crash in B.C.'s Interior last weekend, died Wednesday in a Kelowna hospital, according to the firefighters' union her husband belonged to before he was killed in the same crash.Cranbrook Professional Fire Fighters Local 1253 released a statement from MacKinnon's family on social media announcing her death.
According to accounts from South Korean investigators, Kim endured weeks of interrogation before confessing. It was only after being extradited to South Korea that her defenses began to weaken. The day before she opened up about the plot, a team of South Korean special agents gave her a suit to wear and told her to get into a car. What they did was take her sightseeing around Seoul. Kim saw a city that looked nothing like the miserable enemy outpost North Korea had described. She saw families smiling. She saw cars everywhere. She saw crowded shopping malls. She saw street vendors selling food. She saw the Olympic Village.
And she started to think that her mission, her whole purpose, had been a sham. "Founded upon lies," she said.
She began cooperating with investigators, and several months later, still in detention, Kim watched the Opening Ceremonies on television. "I still remember the theme song they played," she said. "Everybody seemed joyous. I was thinking to myself, Why did North Korea do this?"
Raising two teenagers
It seemed, initially, that there would be no second part of her life. In 1989, a South Korean judge sentenced her to death. But the next year, South Korean President Roh Tae-woo pardoned her, saying that she had been a mere tool manipulated by the real perpetrators, North Korea's ruling Kim family. She mostly escaped the wrath of the South Korean public, according to news accounts from the time, helped by a tearful news conference she gave in apologizing for the bombing. After the pardoning, she wrote a book, "Tears of My Soul," donating the proceeds to family members of KAL Flight 858 victims.
Atomic kittens: 'Trump and Kim' play nice at Olympics
As the Pyeongchang Olympics opened Friday the sight of two bellicose "world leaders" putting aside the threat of nuclear war warmed the cockles on a freezing cold night. As excited spectators filed into the Olympic Stadium for the gala ceremony, many did a double-take.Could it really be US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un?Normally obsessed with comparing the size of their nuclear buttons, here the pair looked more like atomic kittens.In fact it was two spitting-image lookalikes -- not the actual bickering enemies -- who were turning heads, shaking hands and taking selfies.
Then, Kim largely disappeared from the public spotlight.
"It's as if I've been hiding away," she said.
Partly, she said, she has no choice. North Korea has a history of targeting high-level defectors and captured agents. Kim lives under police protection, and keeps most details of her life private. What she does say is that she is an "ordinary citizen" raising two teenagers, ages 16 and 18. In the mornings, she cooks for them. In the evenings, she reads. To relax, she heads to the mountains. Her husband, whom she married in 1997, was one of the first people she met in South Korea — one of
She says she remains traumatized by her role in the bombing, but sometimes feels obliged to talk about it. She is a witness, she said, to the "truth of North Korea." That's why Kim has mixed feelings about how the two Koreas are cooperating ahead of this year's Olympics — news she has been following closely. With its own athletes participating, North Korea could be less inclined to cause chaos or violence. But Kim also thinks that the cooperation plays into North Korea's hands, giving the country a celebratory spotlight despite how it treats its own people. North and South Korea are marching together, holding a white and blue unity flag, but Kim said the two countries aren't on equal ground.
"That flag," she said, "doesn't symbolize peace."
Canadian speed skater Ted-Jan Bloemen wins gold medal in 10,000 metres .
Bloemen's time of 12:39.77 was more than fast enough to edge Dutch luminary Sven Kramer, who tumbled out of the medals in stunning fashion . Kramer’s 13:01.02 was only good enough for sixth.© Leah Hennel, Postmedia Network Canada's Ted-Jan Bloemen celebrates his gold medal in the men's 10,00 metres at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Feb. 15. Canada’s Ted-Jan Bloemen celebrates his gold medal in the men’s 10,00 metres at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Feb. 15.It’s Bloemen’s first gold and second medal at the Olympics.
A Day In the Sky,.. - ( news full video )
Spread the word about PropellerAds and earn money! https://goo.gl/7E5sxJ YouTube Tips and Triks to make real dollers: http://mymoney7725.blogspot.ae/ The Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker (...
Wednesday, 17 october 2018
Trump criticizes rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over […]
Wednesday, 17 october 2018
The heartbreaking obituary of a young mother has gone viral for its devastating description of the effects of drug addiction. Madelyn Linsenmeir, 30, died Oct. 7 after a lifelong battle with the […]
Wednesday, 17 october 2018
The Republican senator said he feels "used and abused" for having defended the […]
Tuesday, 16 october 2018
She and Prince William commented on the happy […]
Tuesday, 16 october 2018
Congratulations are in order for Pippa Middleton and her husband, James Matthews. The two welcomed their first child, a baby boy, on […]
Tuesday, 16 october 2018
U.S. pot producers warn of Canadian […]
Tuesday, 16 october 2018
One threatening tweet read, “Gonna be in Manila the same time as TrumpI’ll take one for the team lads.” The post also featured a mug shot of Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Before Trump arrived in the Philippines, ISIS also released a series of videos with […]
Tuesday, 16 october 2018
Warren accuses Trump of 'creepy' comments about her DNA […]