Thursday, August 28, 2008

North Korean "defector" turns out to be a spy

Chosun Ilbo reports that a North Korean woman is being held for posing as a defector to the South in order to spy for Pyongyang, the first such case on record.

The Times writes that she arrived as a refugee, and for seven years, toured South Korean military bases to lecture on the evils of the homeland that she had escaped.

Authorities say the woman traded sexual favors for military secrets from South Korean officers and passed the information to the North. Investigators say she was also instructed by North Korea to assassinate South Korean intelligence agents and to discover the whereabouts of high-profile defectors including Hwang Jang-yup, a former secretary of the North Korean Worker's Party who fled to the South in 1997.

Won Jeong-hwa (34) was arrested, as was an Army captain identified as Hwang (27) who allegedly passed sensitive information including a list of North Korean defectors to her, as well as a senior North Korean identified as Kim (63) who gave instructions to Won and passed the stolen information to the North. Dong-a Ilbo identifies Hwang, as her boyfriend, a South Korean Army captain, was also indicted for failing to report her despite knowing she was working for the North.

Won allegedly attempted to discover the whereabouts of the high profile figures by making contacts with military officers or senior members of North Korean defectors' associations.

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