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China Gets Tough with S Koreans Spying on N Korea

Posted by on Tuesday, December 28, 2010, 10:34
This news item was posted in World News category and has 0 Comments so far .

China is getting tougher with South Korean spies caught collecting intelligence there on North Korea, jailing one of them for more than a year despite pleas from Seoul, news reports said on Tuesday.

China Gets Tough with S Koreans
China Gets Tough with S Koreans

The army major had been trying to collect information on the North’s nuclear and missile programmes when he was caught in July last year in a sting operation, Yonhap news agency and the Korea JoongAng Daily said.

A defence ministry spokesman declined to comment.

The newspaper said the man it identified as Major Cho was arrested in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang following a rendezvous with a Chinese military officer posing as an informant.

Cho gave tens of thousands of dollars to the Chinese officer for information about the North’s nuclear development and missiles, it said.

He was jailed for 14 months despite the South’s request that he be repatriated.

A captured agent is usually released and repatriated after his home country promises in writing to prevent a recurrence, the Korea Joongang Daily said.

Cho’s imprisonment also caused unrest among South Korean intelligence agents because he was repatriated along with South Korean criminals who had been arrested for robbery or fraud, it said.

The paper quoted intelligence officials as saying Cho may have been treated in a tougher fashion than normal because he was arrested at a sensitive time, just after the North’s second nuclear test in May 2009.

China is the North’s sole major ally and economic lifeline.

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