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Warning for North’s Provocation Allegedly Ignored: Special Investigation Will Be Launched

Warning for North’s Provocation Allegedly Ignored: Special Investigation Will Be Launched

Posted October. 06, 2002 22:54,   


On Oct. 5th, Ministry of Defense put on administrative leave Major Gen. Han Chul-yong, who is the second in command of Unit 5679 of the Army’s Intelligence Command (this command monitors and intercepts the communication of North Korean Army). Maj. Gen. Han, in his Oct. 4th testimony before a congressional hearing, alleged that his warning report for North’s armed provocation, which submitted before the outbreak of Yellow Sea Engagement, was ignored by the top brass. As a result, the suspicion and dispute over his allegation are snowballing.

On October 6, the ministry explained, “Maj. Gen. Han disclosed the content of ‘Black Book’ during the National Auditing. The book is a daily intelligence report on North Korean Army. It should not be acceptable at all. Thus, we have determined that he is not up to his position any longer. That is why we dismissed him from his position.” In Han’s place, the ministry appointed Brigade General Choi Yong-kwon acting vice-commander.

In the meanwhile, the ministry will launch a special investigation into General Han’s allegation as of Oct. 7. To conduct the probe, the ministry has formed up a task force consisting of about 10 high-ranking officials of the ministry. The task force will be led by Kim Seung-kwang (Army’s brigade general). The ministry plans to wrap up the investigation by the end of this week.

One official confirmed, “Our investigation will be focused first on whether General Han’s report, which was about the possibility of North Korean warships’ invading down the NLL just before Yellow Sea Engagement, was supported by any hard evidence proving imminence of North’s armed provocation. Secondly, through the investigation, we will determine what then Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin ordered in response to the report, if any.”

It also plans to conduct a thorough research to determine whether or not Han’s testimony at the National Auditing violates the Act for Protection of Military Intelligence.

In response, Gen. Han informed the ministry that he would fully cooperate in the upcoming investigation. Another Defense Ministry official said, “Han complained, ‘They did not accept my application for discharge, which I submitted right after Yellow Sea Engagement. But, they fired me after I made the testimony. I don’t get it.’”

General Han, after several occasions of trouble with the top brass following Yellow Sea Engagement, submitted the discharge application in July. He is expected to be discharged by the end of November.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com