RANGOON BOMBING INCIDENT - - THE CASE AGAINST THE NORTH KOREANS

Created: 10/19/1983

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

eMa

directorate OF intelligence

3

Rangoon Bc<rnbl ng Incident The Case Agninst Trie tjof.lh Koreans

Summary

lacking, but there Is very strong olroumstantlal evidence linking Korth Korea to the attempted assassination ot President Chun lo Rangoon. The methods ot operation and the equipment carried bu the ethnic Koreans apprehended by Burmese authorities following the bombing ere similar to those ot numerous Korth Korean egeat teems that have infiltrated South Jtorea In the past. The radio-detonated explosives used In Rangoon ere similar to those usedorth Korean attempt to assassinate President Park Chung Bee lo Seoul The movementsorth Korean ship and Korth Korean diplomats' familiarity with the Rangoon ceremony aod the physical layout ot tbe site provide further circumstantial evidence of Korth Korean responsibility.

The Evidencew

The bomb at the Martyrs' Mausoleum In Rangoon clearly was aimed at the South Korean delegation.

reath-Iayinq at this site ts an indispensable

ceremonial duty for anyead of state, but few high-ranking Burmese officials are normally in attendance. Moreover, Burmese dissidents have not displayed the technical sophistication apparent Inctober bombing.

he three explosive devices used in the bombing were attached to the roof of the mausoleum directly above the area where the South Korean delegation would be expected to gather.

The North Koreans had an excellent opportunity to survey the scene and plan an operation. elegation from North Korea's Supreme Peoples Assembly visited Burma and performed the same wreath-laying ceremany less than two months before Chun's visit. fJW

within the first three days after the bombing, three Individuals, Identified by Burmese authorities as ethnic Koreans, were engaged by security forceshe vicinity of Rangoon. The violent resistance of theseuals--one Korean and at least three Burmese werethe fact that they were caught moving south toward the mouth of the Rangoon River, suggest that the Koreans were attempting to exf^ltrate fro* Rangoon after having carried out the bombing. "|

A North Korean ship, the Tonggon Aeguk-Ho, was in port at Rangooneptember, unloading equipmentorth Korean aid project-urma. The ship left Burmese waters sometime aftereptember for Colombo, Sri Lanka, where it reportedly remained until '6 October. location since that date is not clear, but the timing of its arrlva* in Burma would be consistent with the dispatch of an agent team.

nof/rn

Equipment used In the bombing and many Items carried by the suspects provide some of the strongest evidence against the North. None of the equipment has been iJencitled as of North Korean origin, buts similar or identical to gear used by North Korean agents who have infiltrated South Korea. These itemsaliber Belgian pistol, daggers, and grenades. Inorse radio transmitter and Japanese transistor receiver were recovered along with foods (rice powder, canned meat, candy bars) and medicine (pain killers, antibiotics, salt tablets). 1

hand does not rea Koreans. F)

langoon operation operations.

Implicate any group othl

lum-rous features of are consistent with Horth Korean agent

Nearly all North Koreanoperations into South Korea in recent years have been conducted by three-man teams.

'yongyanq's Infiltrators have attempted suicide using hand grenades when threatened with capture.

s with the suspects capturedurma, infiltrators from the North have been well-Indoctrinated and offer maximum resistance to capture or, when captured, resist cooperation. *| Bj

Ran'joon now has publicly linked the captured Koreans to the bombing, and Burmese investigators reportedly are virtually certain that P'yongyang authored the attack. Domestic insurgents are no longer under serious suspicion, and the most active involvement0(ID""the Karen Hational 'Uniondisavowed any

NOryr^HN NOCOl/T

The Record of Past Assasslnat Ion Attempts

Although the Rangoon Incident appears to be the first Instance in which the North Koreans have themselves carried out an attempt on the lifeooth Korean leader outside South Korea, it has the earmarksortn Korean agent operation. P'yongyang haside variety of approaches to1natlnq South Korean leadershe past two decades.

8 attack on the Blue Houseilitary operation. North Korean commandos were Intercepted by South Korean security forces In mountainous terrain Immediately behind the presidential mansion and in the ensuing fight all but one of the northerners were killed. The lone survivor was Imprisonedime but subsequently hetrong antl-P'yongyang line and was taken on extensive speaking tours throughout South Korea.

An attempted assassination of President Park0 was very similar to the Rangoon bombing.

errorist reported by Seoul toorth Korean was killed whileomb at the National Cemeteryeoul.

The bombemote controlled claymore-type explosive, apparently with fragmentation pellets. The dev'ce was placed under the eaves of the tile-roofed Shrine Gate where President Park anc1 other high officials wtra scheduled to participatereath->ay1ng ceremony three days later onune--South Korea's memorial day.

Equipment recovered at the explosion site Included counterfeit South Korean Identification documents, as wellorth Korean-made pistol, battery, compass, knife and field garb.

A cache of North Korean agent gear discoveredays laterountain cave south cf Seoul Included counterfeit South Korean IDs for three differentifle, machlnegun, grenades, communications equipment, medicine, exMltratlon equipment, and foodstuffs Including cooked rice powder. Much of the equipment was of North Korean manufacture.

SE^tET NOFyuJtN HOCOm/raCT

In Augustisaffected young Korean resident In Japan, Mun Se Kwang, entered South Koreaapanese alias and attempted to shoot President Park at South Korea's national day ceremony.

Although the President was not Injured, Mrs. Park was killed In the attack.

Public Position

Mo group has claimed responsibility for the Rangoon, despite the evidence, the North Koreans continue to deny .nvolvement in the Incident.

October, the North Korean news agency issued an authorized statement that teraed Seoul's charges asand rldl-'ilou'i" and declared that "we, by nature, have never undertaken an act of terrorism, nor will we."

The statement criticized President Chun for using the incident to Incite North-South confrontation and It noted that North Korea was "on the highest alert."

P'yongyang has also been publicizing foreign statements

Alleging that the South Koreans were responsible for the 1nc ident.

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA