Dong-a Ilbo reports that a former North Korean defector, who was working at City Hall in Seoul in a capacity of assisting other defectors, has been charged with spying, the first incident of its kind in South Korea.
“Circumstantial evidence suggests that the official … handed over to Pyongyang the full list of defectors living in Seoul and details of their situations, setting off alarm bells in the South Korean government’s management of defectors.
“He was charged with violating a ban on execution of objectives, special infiltration and escape, assembly and communication under the National Security Act for the State Security Department in Pyongyang.
“According to South Korean intelligence, the official defected alone to the South in 2004 and used to be part of the North Korean elite. He worked as a surgeon for one year after graduating from Chongjin Medical School in North Hamgyong Province. After defecting, he majored in Chinese and business at a prestigious private university in Seoul, and was hired by a trading company thanks to his fluency in English and Chinese. His family reportedly remains in the North.
“Intelligence authorities are investigating if he applied for the city government post with the intent to spy for Pyongyang, as well as the process of how he handed over data at the instruction of North Korea’s State Security Department.”