NATIONAL

Police nab former military officer on espionage charges

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Nov 17, 2014 - 21:33
  • Updated : Nov 17, 2014 - 21:33
Police have taken into custody a former military officer on charges of handing over to North Korea a series of documents about the state defense procurement agency’s electronic bidding procedures, and other espionage charges, officials said Monday.

The Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency said that it had sent the 37-year-old man, surnamed Jeon, to the prosecution for violating the National Security Law.

Jeong is purported to have contacted a North Korean operative in Shenyang and Dandong, China, on five occasions between November 2011 and January 2013, and handed over to the North the procurement agency’s training documents concerning the bidding procedures for defense projects after having received directives via email.

He is also charged with having remitted to the communist state some of the revenue he raked in from his illegal online software business. He was found to have sent 160 million won ($146,238) to a North Korean agent working in the North’s Reconnaissance General Bureau, the country’s top military intelligence agency.

He ran his online automated gaming software business with a core software program offered by the North Korean agent. Police said that Jeon first contacted the agent for the software, but the agent asked him later to do things that apparently amounted to violations of the National Security Law.

The police said that the agent had demanded that Jeon collect a list of North Korean defectors at a state resettlement center, and Internet protocol addresses of the state procurement agency, and that Jeon had failed to carry out the illegal missions.

Jeon stated that he had been forced to do what the agent demanded as he had four children to support and his economic situation was poor.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)