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S. Korea to raise reward moeny for reporting spies, spy ships

South Korea will sharply raise the amount of money given to people who report spies and spy ships as part of its efforts to raise peoples' awareness toward national security threats, the government said Saturday.

The Ministry of Justice said a preannouncement of legislation has been made that will revise current rules regarding rewards so a maximum 500 million won ($467,700) can be given for information on spies, and 750 million won for people who report spy ships.

At present the max limit for spies and spy ships is set at 100 million won and 150 million won, respectively. The limit was set in 1995 and has not changed since.

"The move comes as more Koreans are becoming less concerned about security threats posed by possible spies operating in the country," the ministry said. It said that while espionage has become high-tech, making it hard for authorities to detect spies, people are less interested in reporting suspicious activities they may have witnessed.

"There has been a sharp drop in people reporting possible spies and the previous reward amount was too small, especially when compared to the 50 million won given to people who report election-relation crimes," it said.

The ministry, however, said that the monetary rewards given to government employees will remain fixed at 100 million won. (Yonhap News)

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