Seoul spy agency files charges against ex-chiefs over NKorea

Jul 5, 2022, 3:38 PM | Updated: Jul 6, 2022, 3:39 am
FILE - Then South Korea's National Intelligence Service Director Park Jie-won speaks during a plena...

FILE - Then South Korea's National Intelligence Service Director Park Jie-won speaks during a plenary meeting of the parliamentary intelligence committee at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, on Aug. 3, 2021. The National Intelligence Service accused former director Park Jie-won, who served from 2020 to May, 2022, of destroying internal intelligence reports related to North Korea’s fatal shooting of an unarmed South Korean citizen in waters near the countries' western sea border in 2020.(Ahn Jung-hwan/Yonhap via AP, File)

(Ahn Jung-hwan/Yonhap via AP, File)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s spy agency filed charges on Wednesday against two of its former directors over their handling of separate border incidents with North Korea in recent years which prompted criticism that Seoul’s previous liberal government improperly appeased the North to improve ties.

The National Intelligence Service accused former director Park Jie-won, who served from 2020 to May this year, of destroying intelligence reports related to North Korea’s fatal shooting of an unarmed South Korean citizen in waters near the countries’ western sea border in 2020.

In a statement, the agency also alleged that Park’s predecessor, Suh Hoon, forcibly closed an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the 2019 repatriation of two North Korean fisherman captured in South Korean waters.

The two incidents have tainted the legacy of former President Moon Jae-in, who staked his single five-year term on inter-Korean engagement but faced accusations of appeasing a nuclear-armed rival with a brutal human rights record. The cases are being reviewed under the government of current conservative President Yoon Suk Yeol, who won a March election on a platform of taking a tougher stance toward North Korean provocations.

The agency said it is bringing multiple charges against Park and Suh, including abuse of power, damaging public records and creating falsified records. It didn’t immediately elaborate on the last charge.

Responding to an inquiry from The Associated Press, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said it plans to assign the cases to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office for review before possibly proceeding with an investigation.

Park denied that he destroyed internal reports and accused the agency of meddling in politics.

“Don’t write a novel,” he wrote on Facebook.

The 2020 killing of the South Korean man, who was an employee of the country’s fisheries ministry, has been a source of domestic divide in South Korea. Conservatives accused Moon’s government of failing to strongly respond to North Korea in hopes of better ties and of attempting to divert the blame from the North by suggesting that the man had tried to defect.

Yoon’s government overturned the previous administration’s assessment, saying last month that there is no evidence the South Korean official had intended to defect.

Critics say Moon’s government never provided a clear explanation of why it forcibly repatriated two North Korean escapees in November 2019 to face possible execution, just days after they were seized in South Korean waters and expressed a desire to defect. Kim Yeon-chul, Moon’s point man on North Korea, described the men as “atrocious criminals” who confessed to murder, and questioned the sincerity of their wish to defect.

Dozens of international organizations, including Human Rights Watch, issued a joint statement accusing Moon’s government of failing to provide due process and “protect anyone who would be at substantial risk of torture or other serious human rights violations after repatriation.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

French Senate report denounces sexual abuse in porn industry

PARIS (AP) — Sexual and physical abuse in France’s porn industry is “systemic” and lawmakers should better regulate the production of videos and protect children who are “heavily exposed” to the content, according to a French Senate report released Wednesday. . The report, titled “Hell Behind the Scenes,” was the first prepared for the French […]
1 day ago
FILE — Members of the Mifflin Guard, consisting of re-enactors from New York, New Jersey and Penn...
Associated Press

Hold fire: Re-enactors fear being targeted by NY gun law

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Some historical battle re-enactors in New York are holding their musket fire because of worries over the state’s new gun rules — an unplanned side effect of a law designed to protect the public’s safety. The law that went into effect this month declares parks, government property and a long list […]
1 day ago
This photo provided by Hyundai shows the 2022 Hyundai Elantra N, a sporty sedan based on an economy...
Associated Press

Edmunds: Hyundai Elantra N vs Volkswagen Golf GTI

Hyundai is one of just a few automakers that offer sporty performance-oriented versions of its small cars, and one of its newest is the 2022 Elantra N. Based on the redesigned and sharply styled Elantra small sedan, the N has a high-output engine, a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes and other enhancements. It’s a bona-fide sport […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Pope presses Muslim dialogue message with Bahrain visit

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis will travel to Bahrain in November to press his message of dialogue with the Muslim world, the first pope to visit the country the Vatican said Wednesday. Bahrain is home to the Gulf’s first Catholic Church, located in the capital Manama, as well as its biggest one, Our Lady […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Prosecutors raid headquarters of German far-right party

BERLIN (AP) — The far-right Alternative for Germany party said Wednesday its national headquarters in Berlin were searched by officials with the city’s prosecutor’s office. “Since this morning, the Berlin public prosecutor’s office has been conducting a house search in the premises of the federal headquarters of Alternative for Germany, without any prior inquiry having […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Can’t qualify for a personal loan? 4 alternatives to try

Personal loans provide fast, unsecured funds that can pay for anything from home repairs to medical emergencies. Instead of requiring collateral like a house or car, many lenders prefer applicants with strong credit and high incomes. But what if you don’t meet a lender’s requirements? People who don’t qualify for a personal loan have alternatives […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Seoul spy agency files charges against ex-chiefs over NKorea