[FOUNTAIN]Spy arrest holds intrigue

Home > Opinion > Columns

print dictionary print

[FOUNTAIN]Spy arrest holds intrigue

Sun Tzu said that the best tactic in a battle is to win without fighting, and the best way is to destroy the morale of the enemy. The next best strategy is to turn enemies into friends. Waging a war is a lesser option, and attacking opponents who have a strong defense is the worst. In order to discourage the enemy, you need to acquire power.
Sun Tzu offers five tools for spying. Inhabitants of the enemy state, officials of the enemy government, enemy spies, false intelligence and spy dispatch into enemy territory are those tools.
Sejak means a dispatched spy. Sejak has long been used by states in the West and the East alike. When the Yin Dynasty overthrew the Xia Dynasty, Yi Zhi stole his way into Xia, and when Zhou toppled Yin, Ziya had infiltrated Yin.
“The Nihon Shoki,” or “The Chronicles of Japan,” contains a part where Gamata, a spy from Silla, was arrested in Tsushima in 601 A.D. A ninja is a professional spy in Japan. Ninjas were paid by the daimyo, or feudal rulers, to carry out espionage and assassination missions. The ninjas spearheaded the operation to invade Korea, assassinating Empress Myeongseong in the last days of the Joseon dynasty.
The Battle of Red Cliffs, a battle in China during the period of the Three Kingdoms, was the pinnacle of espionage war. Wei sent brothers Cai He and Cai Zhong as spies and Huang Gai, Gan Ning and Kan Ze pretended to surrender to Cao Cao. Wei must have hated Pang Tong, who employed Strategy 35, “never rely on a single strategy.” The best of the best was Zhuge Liang, who made Wei and Wu fight. The best role of a spy is to “watch fire from the other side of the river.” Just like the Chinese proverb, “Look at a boat capsizing from the Yellow Crane Pavilion,” the most clever spy would wait for internal troubles.
For the first time since the Kim Dae-jung administration, a spy from Pyongyang was arrested. Popular television series feature spies as well. The heroine of “Seoul, 1945” is modeled after a female agent named Kim Su-im.
Grand National Party lawmaker Kim Yong-kab has called unification minister Lee Jong-seok a sejak and his analogy has been met with fierce counter-attacks.
He seems to be concerned that the minister might have been influenced by Pyongyang’s attempt to ruin the Korea-U.S. alliance.
However, if his extreme wording leads to unnecessary emotional confrontation and North Korea watches the fire from the other side of the river, then Mr. Kim cannot escape from being blamed for having done a sejak’s job for the enemy.

by Kim Jin-kook

The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)