For 2nd time, spying charges filed

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For 2nd time, spying charges filed

A North Korean spy who converted once he got caught resumed working for North Korea, according to Seoul prosecutors yesterday.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said it arrested and indicted a 63-year-old man surnamed Han on charges of providing North Korea with information on North Korean defectors and a North Korean defectors’ group in South Korea. The charges constitute a violation of the National Security Law, the office said.

Han was first arrested in July 1969, six days after he arrived in Gochang, North Jeolla, to do spying for the North. He was released the next year on a suspended indictment after he pledged conversion.

Prosecutors said, however, that Han began to spy again for North Korea in the 1990s, after he contacted North Korean spies to meet with his family left in the North.

Prosecutors said Han met North Korean spies on nine occasions between March 1997 and January of this year in Beijing and Shenyang, China, and received an order to collect information. He was allowed into the North four times between 1996 and 2007 to get orders or to meet his family, prosecutors said.

Han is suspected of providing telephone numbers of several North Korean defectors’ groups in South Korea and residential addresses of North Korean defectors.

Prosecutors said Han was also ordered to kill Lee Han-young, a nephew of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s former wife Sung Hye-rim, but did not carry it out.

Lee, who defected to South Korea, was shot to death outside his apartment near Seoul in 1997 in what was suspected as an assassination by North Korea.


By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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