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All Five Members of Ilsimhoe Accused of Espionage

Posted December. 06, 2006 06:57,   


The Seoul District Public Prosecutors’ Office is planning to prosecute five people involved with the underground spy ring known as Ilsimhoe including Jang Min-ho (Michael Jang), according to Article 4, Clause 2 of the National Security Law.

It is noted that the prosecutor’s office has searched through about one million pages of documents and e-mails which were forfeited from Chang’s house and office, and concluded that the documents Chang had handed over to North Korea included some confidential national information.

After taking over the investigation record from National Information Service (NIS) early October and in charge for nearly a month, 15 prosecutors, including Assistant Prosecutor General of the Second Division Ahn Chang-ho, made a concession on the range of charges and applicable legal articles through a discussion on December 4.

A relevant official of the intelligence agency said, “We looked closely at the pertinent documents to prove whether they are confidential papers referring to relevant precedent cases, and also learned the specific number of secret papers that each of the five suspects had leaked abroad.”

The prosecutors’ office is revealing the result of this investigation to the public on December 8.

The prosecutors’ office and NIS originally did not apply the same provision (Article 4, Clause 2) when they arrested Chang in late October. At that time, they arrested him on the suspicion of meeting a North Korean agent at DongXuHuaYuan in Beijing (violation of Article 8), smuggling into North Korea (Article 6), and joining the Workers’ Party (Article 3).

When arrested, four people including Vice President of Party Affairs Choi Gi-yeong of Democratic Labor Party had only Article 8 of the National Security Law applied to them.

Although reluctant to call the involved people a “spy ring,” the prosecutors’ office, in fact, has admitted to viewing this incident as a spy case by accusing all five people of suspicion of espionage.

The NIS is still conducting an internal investigation to find out whether or not there are other people or underground organizations involved. However, these issues are not being covered in this coming public presentation.

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