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S Korea bureaucrat charged with spying

S Korea bureaucrat charged with spying

By Zhu Wenjia, Sina English


A bureaucrat in Seoul’s city government has been charged with spying for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), after what appears to be an unusual breach of the South Korean civil service.

The arrest comes ahead of next month’s inauguration of Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s next president, who has promised to build trust and co-operation with the north.

The 33-year-old official – originally from the DPRK – is accused of passing the details of more than 10,000 fellow defectors to Pyongyang’s security services. The arrest on January 11 of the man, identified only as Mr Yu, was first reported on Monday by Seoul’s Dong-a Ilbo newspaper, and subsequently confirmed by a South Korean intelligence official.

Mr Yu fled the DPRK in 2004 after briefly working as a surgeon in the northeast. He adjusted to the South better than many other compatriots, attending university and working for a trading company before taking a job in 2011 with the Seoul metropolitan government.

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