Sept. 19 (UPI) — South Korean intelligence agents connected to the framing of a defector on spying charges have been arrested and charged.
The case of former Seoul city employee Yoo Woo-seong, an ethnically Chinese defector from North Korea, has culminated in the arrests of two South Korean officers who forged documents to frame Yoo, Money Today reported Wednesday.
The two agents, identified by their surnames Lee and Choe, were serving as deputy directors at Seoul’s national intelligence service when they created the false documents.
The two South Korean officers may have falsified Yoo’s immigration records to show Yoo “entering” and “exiting” North Korea multiple times from 1998 to 2006.
The defendants also did not submit all documents on the case in March 2014, when Yoo was under investigation, concealing evidence, including recordings of testimonies from China-based collaborators.
In 2015, two ethnic Korean-Chinese nationals were sentenced to two years and 1 1/2 years in prison, respectively, for abetting the forgeries.
That same year, Kim Bo-hyeon, a South Korean intelligence agent, was sentenced to four years in prison for framing Yoo.
Accusations began in January 2013, when South Korean prosecutors alleged Yoo had been passing information on resettled defectors to the North Korean regime.
Yoo was found not guilty of spying, but was charged with “unjustly” using a refugee resettlement grant from the South Korean government, and for obtaining citizenship. Yoo was a member of the tiny Chinese community in the North.
The charges against South Korean spies, who served under conservative administrations, come at a time when Seoul is reviewing other transactions under former President Park Geun-hye.
News 1 reported Wednesday a military court has investigated past transactions, including the sale of loudspeakers for use at the demilitarized zone to broadcast propaganda across the border.
The seller of the loudspeakers did not deliver the correct number of products, but the case does not violate law or hurt national interests, according to the verdict reached Wednesday.
North Korea has opposed the loudspeakers that were dismantled in 2018 as part of an inter-Korea agreement.