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Unification ministry to look into how N.K. founder's memoirs hit bookshelves in S. Korea

All News 14:06 April 22, 2021

SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) -- The unification ministry will look into how memoirs of North Korea's national founder Kim Il-sung hit bookshelves in South Korea without government approval and take action if necessary, an official said Thursday.

On Wednesday, a local publishing company said that it has begun selling the eight-volume memoirs, titled "With the Century," in South Korea for the first time since the books were published by the North Korean regime in the early 1990s.

The memoirs, which mostly feature Kim's anti-Japanese fight, have sparked controversy as they are known to contain many fabrications about his life. The North's national founder is the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un.

In the 1990s, a South Korean publisher tried in vain to sell the books here and came under investigation for allegedly violating the National Security Act.

"The publisher in question has not consulted the unification ministry with regard to publishing 'With the Century,'" the ministry official said on condition of anonymity. "Nor has it applied for government approval before bringing in those materials for the purpose of publication."

"We will look into how the books have been published and other issues and consider taking measures that we can take," the official said, without elaborating on what those measures could be.

Any attempt to bring in materials written in North Korea should win state approval before they are brought into South Korea. The two Koreas remain technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.


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