Military men indicted for spying for North Korea

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Military men indicted for spying for North Korea

The Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office yesterday indicted a former South Korean agent on charges of giving top military secrets to North Korea.

According to the prosecution, Park Chae-seo, 56, who used to work for the Agency of National Security Planning, the predecessor of the National Intelligence Service, spied on North Korea for the South under the code-name Black Venus until his cover was blown in 1998. He allegedly maintained contact with his North Korean handler, however, and became a double agent for the North.

Also indicted yesterday was an Army major general who allegedly gave the North confidential information via Park, including a U.S.-South Korea war plan to counter a North Korean invasion.

The prosecution said a North Korean agent asked Park in March 2003 to give him military information. Park contacted the major general, identified by the surname Kim, to get information. Kim and Park are alumni of the same military academy and were close friends.

Both Park and Kim will remain in prosecutors’ custody through their trials.

Park was accused of providing the North with nine military manuals he obtained from Kim from September 2003 to August 2005.

Among the information that Kim leaked were parts of “Operational Plan 5027,” the plan by the U.S.-South Korea Combined Forces Command to defend the South from a “second Korean war,” the prosecution said.

The plan, which maps out how the U.S. and South Korean forces would counter an invasion from the North, is modified every one or two years since the first version was created in 1974. Kim is suspected of leaking the plans from 2005 to 2007, which are presumed to be different from the current operational plan.

Kim has told military prosecutors that he verbally described some of the details of the operational plan to Park. Park denied to the prosecution that he gave the information to North Korea.

A former procurement executive was also indicted yesterday in a separate espionage case. The 55-year-old man was accused of providing information about military’s communication equipment to a North Korean agent in 2005.

By Ser Myo-ja []
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