News / Asia

S. Korean Spy Chief Apologizes for Forgeries in N. Korea Spy Case

South Korean President Park Geun-hye  looks at the exhibition 'DMZ-Gruenes Band' during a visit to the East Side Gallery in Berlin, March 27, 2014.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye looks at the exhibition 'DMZ-Gruenes Band' during a visit to the East Side Gallery in Berlin, March 27, 2014.
Daniel Schearf
South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) has apologized after its agents were found to have provided forged Chinese documents that were used to prosecute an alleged North Korean spy. President Park Geun-hye expressed regret at the scandal, which has further tarnished the NIS' image, and demanded an overhaul of the agency.  

The head of South Korea's intelligence service, Nam Jae-joon, on Tuesday issued a rare public apology over a North Korea spy scandal.
 
Public prosecutors said National Intelligence Service agents forged Chinese immigration records as evidence in an espionage case against Yoo Woo-seong, a North Korean dissident.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reports the main opposition party in South Korea has demanded President Park Geun-hye fire Nam because of the case.
 
A deputy chief of the NIS resigned late Monday after an investigation confirmed the scandal. Three more intelligence agents, including one at the South Korean consulate in Shenyang, China, and an ethnic Chinese Korean are facing charges.
 
But prosecutors Monday concluded the forgery was not orchestrated by NIS leaders and chief Nam is not currently facing any disciplinary action. He apologized to the people for causing concern.
 
He said the NIS will try to develop scientific, investigative techniques and strengthen the agency’s capabilities of probing pro-North Korean cases. He said this is the major task of the NIS through a strong restructuring.
 
It was not immediately clear if the case against the North Korean dissident Yoo would be dismissed over the false evidence.
 
Yoo escaped to the South in 2004 and worked for the Seoul city government. But prosecutors allege he was secretly working for Pyongyang.
 
He was suspected of collecting and turning over information on more than 200 fellow dissidents to North Korea in trips through China.
 
Yoo denies the charges and was acquitted by a lower court. But an appeal by prosecutors included the new evidence of Chinese immigration records.
 
Chinese officials raised suspicions about the credibility of the documents in February, leading to the investigation.
 
The NIS scandal is the latest in a series to hit the spy agency.
 
Some of its agents were charged with trying to influence public opinion online for the 2012 presidential election.
 
Former NIS chief Won Sei-hoon is also facing charges of election meddling and in January was sentenced to two years in prison for graft.
 
South Korea's President Park Geun-hye Tuesday demanded an overhaul of the spy agency.

She said she feels sorry for causing concern for the people as wrong practices of the NIS and inexhaustible holes in its management system have been regrettably revealed. The NIS must take excruciating efforts to overhaul itself, she said, to make sure such incidents will not happen again. She said she will take strong measures if any case again occurs that loses people’s trust.
 
North Korea had no immediate comment on the spying scandal but usually denies it engages in espionage.
 
South Korea's Ministry of Defense on Friday said three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones, found crashed in the country in recent weeks were almost certainly from North Korea.
 
Pyongyang dismissed the accusation and offered to send officials for a joint investigation of the drones.
 
The Defense Ministry dismissed the offer, calling it a psychological tactic unworthy of consideration.

VOA Seoul Bureau Producer Youmi Kim contributed to this report.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid