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NIS chief warns staff against leaking information on Jang Song Thaek

NIS chief warns staff against leaking information on Jang Song Thaek

Posted December. 25, 2013 00:32,   


“I will fire anyone who leaks even single word of information.”

National Intelligence Service chief Nam Jae-joon recently ordered all of his staff to remain tightlipped. The order is targeting information regarding North Korea’s leadership that has fluctuated due to the execution of Jang Song Thaek, former vice chairman of the National Defense Commission. Amid a sensitive situation where some raise the possibility for the North to make provocation and discussions are underway at the National Assembly to reform the spy agency in the South, Nam ordered his staff to remain thoroughly “tightlipped.”

NIS’ recent denial to confirm the allegations that Jang’s aides sought to take asylum and remaining in silence is also related to such a mood. Even officials with the spokesman’s office at NIS only repeated “We cannot confirm.” An NIS source said on Tuesday, “Information related to North Korea is held by very few people who handle it, and actually most others have no knowledge at all.”

NIS worries about an unexpected situation where explanations it provided at the request of South Korean media spawn different interpretations. It was also known that the agency took into account the possibility that sources of information on the North could be revealed. With news reports suggesting that NIS came to learn the execution of Jang Soo Gil, and Ri Yong Ha, both confidents of the late Jang, through eavesdropping of communications in the North, Pyongyang placed order to beef up communications security.

The National Assembly’s discussion over NIS’ reform is another variable. The move has been affected by the sense of wariness that at a time when the parliamentary special committee on NIS reform must present a plan to reform NIS, the spy agency’s moves should not provide any possible cause for political interpretations.

Some watchers raise suspicion that “The spy agency might be denying ostensibly and leaks information behind the scene.” They have an interpretation that by constantly leaking rumors of political asylum irrespective of the truth, the agency may seek to stimulate insiders in the North.