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Police raided a publishing house Sunday and seized 15,000 copies of a North Korean autobiography of Kim Il Sung, part of a crackdown in the wake of the Communist strongman's death last month.

Police said they were looking for Lee Hee-kun, 33, president of the Kasowon publishing company, on charges of attempting to publish the four-volume autobiography in South Korea.Publishing materials from North Korea without government permission is illegal under South Korea's strict national security laws. The laws have been enforced with special vigor since radicals in the south eulogized Kim after his death July 8.

The radicals portray Kim as a national leader who helped Korea throw off Japanese colonial rule. Most South Koreans revile Kim as the man who started the 1950-1953 Korean War, which left 2.5 million people dead.

Kim had run North Korea with absolute power since the peninsula was divided after World War II and uncertainty over who would succeed him left South Korea with heightened national security concerns.

His apparent successor is his son, Kim Jong Il, whose policies are unclear and who is believed by many to be mentally unstable. Kim Il Sung's death came just as negotiations began with the United States aimed at resolving the dispute over the North's apparent program to develop nuclear weapons.

Also Sunday, a man claiming to be a North Korean lumberjack defected to South Korea after arriving in the southern port of Pusan aboard a Russian freighter carrying lumber.

About 15,000 North Korean loggers are reportedly working in Siberia under contracts with Russia. Seoul officials say up to 170 loggers have escaped, hoping to defect to South Korea.

Northern defectors reported acute food and fuel shortages in their country.