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N. Korean Spy Case Focusing on Stepfather

Posted August. 29, 2008 10:08,   


The stepfather of Won Jeong-hwa, who was arrested Wednesday on the charge of spying for North Korea, is suspected of playing a bigger role in espionage activities than Won.

“Given (her stepfather`s) position and his importance in the North, he seems to have played a more critical role than Won,” an investigator said yesterday.

Identified only as Kim, the stepfather is known to be an in-law of North Korea`s parliamentary chief Kim Yong Nam. The stepfather disguised himself as a trader with Won and offered fees for spy activities.

He also delivered to Pyongyang information on the locations of South Korean military bases and North Korean defectors obtained by Won.

Investigators said Kim graduated from the Pyongyang University of Fine Arts and worked as a police officer. He received an air force medal and a national award for designing a military supply factory in Chongjin. He also served as a member of the ruling Workers` Party of the North.

Won began spying in South Korea in 2001, but Kim came to the South via Cambodia in 2006.

An investigator said, “We are thoroughly probing Kim’s role but Won is not talking. Though they are stepfather and daughter, Won does not seem to know exactly what Kim is doing because they seemed to have worked for a variety of organizations."

Kim was grilled after police arrested Won at her home Aug. 15 in Gunpo, Gyeonggi Province, but was released because he was not suspected of violating the National Security Law.

When Won confessed that she received funds from Kim, he was arrested on the charge of violating the law. Prosecutors raided his residence in Seoul but all North Korea-related documents were removed.

While Won pretended to help South Korean agents who collected data about North Korea through North Korean defectors, she was also a double agent who informed Pyongyang about Seoul`s intelligence activities.

When approaching South Korean agents, she said her father was a high-ranking official of the North`s Workers` Party. Won’s real father was confirmed to have been killed while infiltrating the South as an agent in 1974.

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