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Female Korean Spy Was Framed: U.S. Data

Posted August. 18, 2008 06:45,   


A woman who was executed in 1950 by South Korea for espionage was probably framed, The Associated Press said Saturday. Kim Soo-im is known as the "Korean Mata Hari."

Born in 1911, Kim was orphaned early in life and taken care of by American missionaries. She graduated from Seoul`s prestigious Ewha Womans University with a degree in English.

Later, Kim was hired by Col. John E. Baird as a special adviser, and lived with him for a time. In 1949, she was arrested on the charge of giving classified information to North Korea, including the plan for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Kim was accused of helping her communist lover Lee Gang-kook slip into North Korea. Lee, who was educated in Germany, later became the North`s first foreign minister. A South Korean court martial found her an international spy and had executed June 15, 1950.

Citing the record of a confidential 1950 U.S. inquiry and other declassified files, The Associated Press said, “Col. John E. Baird had no access to the supposed sensitive information. Kim had no secrets to pass on. And her Korean lover, Lee Gang-kook, later executed by North Korea, may actually have been an American agent.”

“Baird and fellow Army officers could have defended her, but instead the colonel was rushed out of Korea to ‘avoid further embarrassment.’"

The report said, "Col. William H.S. Wright, head of the Korea advisory group, testified that her confession was probably forced through ‘out and out torture,’ probably near-drowning, or waterboarding, as it`s now known.”