Hundreds of police and security guards held back vengeful relatives Tuesday as a confessed North Korean agent went on trial for the bombing of a South Korean airliner that killed 115 people.
"I'm here to kill you!" shouted one person. "Bring back my husband!" another screamed at Kim Hyon Hui as security agents led the defendant into the courtroom.Kim buried her face in her hands and sobbed.
In January 1988, she admitted on South Korean television that she planted a bomb disguised as a radio and liquor on the Boeing 707 in November 1987 to disrupt last summer's Olympic Games in Seoul. She also told the court Tuesday she had been a North Korean agent.
The Korean Air plane flying from Baghdad to Seoul disappeared over the Andaman Sea as it approached the Burmese coast. All 115 passengers and crew were lost.
North Korea denies it had anything to do with the bomb.
About 1,500 police and security agents guarded the court to prevent disruption from relatives and possible threats from North Korean agents.
Crying and sobbing relatives among a few allowed into the courtroom interrupted the hearing repeatedly, demanding the defendant's death. Twenty security agents surrounded her.
Some relatives shouted claims that Kim actually was a South Korean agent used by the government to discredit the north and stir up support for the Seoul administration.