Monday, April 19, 2010

U.S. Intelligence Expert in Seoul after Shipwreck

Chosun Ilbo reports that an officer in charge of North Korean affairs at the U.S. National Intelligence Agency made a secret visit to South Korea early this month after the Navy corvette Cheonan sank in the West Sea on March 26.

Sylvia Copeland reportedly met senior South Korean intelligence officers to exchange intelligence on what North Korea was doing around the time of the sinking and discuss a possible response.

In the meeting, Copeland focused on analyzing related intelligence reports, sources said.

"Copeland is an officer trusted by NIA Director Dennis Blair," an intelligence source said. "She was here right after the Cheonan sank due to the need for cooperation with the South. It seems the two countries re-checked their system of sharing intelligence about the North."

Before and after her visit, Copeland also went to Japan and other countries. A former U.S. military officer, she worked as case officer in charge of Far East at the CIA. In the 1980s, she was an officer in the U.S. Forces Korea.

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