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Term Limits for Intelligence Chiefs?

Posted December. 05, 2005 07:09,   


The Uri Party is seriously considering a proposal limiting National Intelligence Service (NIS) heads to a fixed number of years in office.

Kim Seong-gon, the Uri Party lawmaker who chairs the task force in charge of reforming the NIS, held a press conference yesterday at his party headquarters in Seoul. “The purpose is to let the NIS achieve independence from political authorities and concentrate only on its stated responsibility of gathering intelligence. At the task force, we are looking at the possibility of guaranteeing NIS chiefs a certain number of years in office,” Kim said to the gathered reporters.

The Uri Party set a deadline for the completion of its bill to amend the law governing the NIS. They will finalize their bill that contains measures to reform the NIS by December 24.

The introduction of a fixed tenure for NIS heads is also included in the proposals to reform the intelligence agency brought up by the agency itself. About 10 other countries operate their national intelligence agencies with a fixed tenure system in place, including Canada (CSIS), Norway (PST) and Spain (CNI).

In-Jik Cho cij1999@donga.com