Forgery scandal hits S Korea spy agency

Forgery scandal hits S Korea spy agency

Tue, 15 Apr 2014 04:33:55 GMT

South Korea’s intelligence chief has vowed to overhaul his embattled agency amid a scandal involving senior agents charged with fabricating evidence in an espionage case.

Nam Jae-joon said Tuesday that he pledged to conduct a “bone-crushing” overhaul of the investigative methods at the country’s National Intelligence Service (NIS).

The intelligence chief also apologized and took responsibility for the scandal surrounding NIS agents.

Nam’s remarks came a day after Seoul prosecutors announced that they had indicted two NIS officials in connection to the agency’s alleged evidence fabrication.

The intelligence agency is accused of forging documents, including Chinese border control records, to build a false case against a North Korea-born former Seoul city official, Yoo Woo-sung, with spying for Pyongyang.

Yoo had been accused of gathering information on some 200 North Korean defectors living in South Korea and sending it to the North.

The indictment came two months after the Chinese Embassy in Seoul confirmed that the documents were not authentic.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s opposition party lawmakers have criticized the prosecution’s announcement as no official from the agency’s leadership was indicted.

The opposition lawmakers claimed the investigators deliberately belittled the importance of the case in order to protect the intelligence agency’s leadership.

The opposition lawmakers also urged President Park Geun-hye to reveal her role on the alleged evidence fabrication.

This is not the first scandal involving the country’s intelligence agency. The most recent case was unfolded when a number of agents admitted that they had meddled in the 2012 presidential election.

Last month, Nam’s predecessor as NIS chief, Won Sei-hoon, was convicted of accepting bribes and sentenced to two years in jail.

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