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The Virgin Terrorist


8 minutes - English

The bomb's timer was set. It was placed in one of the plane's overhead compartments. Now, they just had to wait.
Kim Hyon-Hui, better known as 'Miss Kim', and her partner then got off Korean Air Flight 858 in Abu Dhabi. In her soft, gentle voice, she tells the horrific story that changed her life. 
That flight continued its journey to Seoul before exploding in mid-air, killing all 151 people onboard.
Before being tracked down in Bahrain, Miss Kim and her partner bit into cyanide ampules. Miss Kim's partner died, but she survived. Called the 'Virgin Terrorist', she confessed to being a North Korean agent who helped commit the terrorist act. She was sentenced to death.
But South Korea's President Roh Tae-woo thought that Miss Kim would be more useful alive as a resource against North Korean propaganda. He issued a pardon and set her free. She regularly speaks publicly about how she was indoctrinated and became a terrorist, constantly expressing remorse for her actions.
ABC Primetime went to meet the 'Virgin Terrorist' in Seoul to see how the one-time secret agent is trying to restart her life after being released from prison.


Anne de Boismilon


Sylvia Chase

First broadcast

ABC News - Primetime