Shanghai siren case is closed: No spy scheme

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Shanghai siren case is closed: No spy scheme

Seoul officials investigating the leak of classified information by Korean diplomats to the Shanghai siren concluded yesterday that it was not a spy scheme.

But, what exact role former Korean Consul General Kim Jung-ki played in the leak and who the woman, Deng Xinming, really is remain unanswered, raising questions over the government’s zeal in investigating the scandal.

“We concluded that it was caused by a serious lack of discipline among the employees of an overseas diplomatic post,” an official of the investigation team led by the Prime Minister’s Office told a media briefing, announcing the results of its one-week probe.

“In the process of using an unofficial channel to get work-related cooperation, some documents were leaked to a Chinese woman whose identity was unclear,” the official said. “Some consuls were confirmed to have had inappropriate relationships with the woman and leaked some more documents.”

The investigators said apart from the contact list of some 200 high-ranking figures in Korea, more information kept by the Korean Consulate in Shanghai were found out to have been given to Deng. But the leaked documents were judged not to be top-tier national secrets and are not subject to judicial action, the investigators said.

The investigators said they still don’t know much about the identity of Deng despite having performed an on-site investigation in Shanghai last week.

The team said it could not investigate the 33-year-old woman due to the absence of investigative jurisdiction in China.

“We presume Deng is not a spy and is instead a visa broker who tried to approach the diplomats,” said an official of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The team confirmed that there were extramarital affairs between Deng and a “plural number of” Korean consuls in Shanghai, but did not identify who they were, citing privacy issues and the impact on their families. Whether Kim was among the paramours was not disclosed.

The investigators said about 10 Korean diplomats were involved in the affairs or the information leakage and they will be punished by the government agencies that dispatched them.


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


Related Korean Article[중앙일보]

총리실 “덩신밍, 스파이는 아니었다”

“일부 영사와 부적절한 관계
심각한 공직기강 해이 사건”

국무총리실 공직복무관리관실은 중국 상하이 주재 한국총영사관 관계자들과 중국 여성 덩신밍(鄧新明·등신명·33) 사이에서 발생한 스캔들은 국가기밀을 노린 스파이 사건이 아니고, 공직기강 해이 사건이라고 25일 밝혔다. 덩에게 유출된 자료 중 국가기밀은 없다는 이유에서다. 이에 따라 검찰에 수사를 의뢰할 계획도 없다는 게 총리실 입장이다.

김석민 총리실 사무차장은 브리핑에서 “해외 공관 근무자들의 잘못된 복무 자세로 인한 자료 유출, 비자 발급 문제, 부적절한 관계에 따른 품위 손상 등이 발생한 심각한 수준의 공직기강 해이 사건이라고 판단된다”고 말했다. 총리실은 상하이 총영사관의 전·현직 영사 등 관련자 10여 명에 대한 징계를 해당 부처에 요구했으며, 김정기 전 총영사의 경우 영사들의 기강 해이, 자료 유출, 비자 부정발급 문제에 대한 관리 책임을 묻기로 했다. 류충렬 공직복무관리관은 “김 전 총영사는 특임공관직으로서 보직이 없으면 60일 이후에 공직이 자동 면직된다”며 “5월 초 자동 면직될 예정이지만 (그 경우) 징계의 실효가 없어 다른 조치를 강구 중”이라고 말했다.

총리실은 “일부 영사가 덩과 부적절한 관계를 맺은 걸 확인했다”고 밝혔으나 사생활 보호를 이유로 명단을 공개하지는 않았다.

총리실은 상하이 총영사관에서 모두 7종 19건의 자료가 덩에게 넘어갔다고 했다. 법무부 H 전 영사, 지식경제부 P 전 영사가 대부분 건네준 것이라고 한다. 오세훈 서울시장, 사공일 한국무역협회장 등의 상하이 방문과 관련한 협조 공문이 추가로 유출된 사실도 드러났다.

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