The Defense Ministry said Tuesday that its prosecution had detained and indicted two uniformed officers on charges of leaking military secrets about Seoul’s defense procurement projects to a civilian broker that in turn gave them to three unspecified foreign defense firms.
It also plans to indict one more officer and a civilian on the same charges.
After being informed of the leak, the civilian prosecution launched a preliminary probe into the case in February 2013. Later, military prosecutors joined the probe, officials explained.
Investigators alleged that an Air Force lieutenant colonel, surnamed Park, leaked third-rate military secrets regarding the country’s local air monitoring system on 21 occasions to a defense broker, surnamed Kim. In return, Park purportedly received 5 million won ($4,870) from Kim and was once treated to an evening at a luxury drinking establishment.
Park works at the air power planning and management division at the Air Force headquarters.
The investigators also charged an Army major, surnamed Cho, of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration with having leaked grade 3 military secrets to Kim about the country’s project to develop small armed helicopters, and having been treated at a drinking establishment twice.
Park and Cho were indicted on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Kim was also indicted on Tuesday on charges of violating the law on the protection of military secrets.
The prosecution is also investigating an Air Force colonel, surnamed Choi, who allegedly leaked to Kim grade 3 military secrets concerning Seoul’s plan to military trainer aircraft. The investigators claimed that Choi handwrote the secrets in a memo and handed it to Kim.
Choi is purported to have received gifts worth 2.5 million won from Kim and been treated to a drinking establishment twice. The authorities plan to indict Choi without detention after further investigating the allegations against him.
The prosecution also plans to indict an employee of Kim’s defense brokerage firm on charges of leaking to one of his colleagues military secrets regarding Seoul’s surface-to-air guided missile project.
The Defense Ministry said that the investigation into the leaking incident sent a warning against “inappropriate collusion” between military officers and defense brokers, and helped raise security awareness among military officers.
The DAPA said that it would strengthen its security system to prevent leaks of military secrets, and personnel education.
By Song Sang-ho (firstname.lastname@example.org)