South Korean Charged with Aiding Repatriations

According to prosecutors in Seoul on Monday, a South Korean man who was trained as a spy in Pyongyang at the turn of the century has been arrested and charged with aiding in the forced repatriation of refugees escaping from North Korea and gathering information on people helping said refugees.

The man, a 55-year old known only as Kim, recently returned to South Korea from China, where he had been engaged in his activities.

Yonhap reports that Kim apparently turned to the North Korean cause after meeting a North Korean agent in China during the 1990s. He is reported to have undergone espionage training in Pyongyang during 2000.

He recently returned to South Korea after one of his associates was arrested and jailed by Chinese police, and was detained upon arrival.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) and Seoul Central Prosecutor’s Office are currently investigating whether Kim has any accomplices engaged in espionage activities.

South Korea’s strict National Security Law prohibits its citizens from a swath of activities related to the North, including unsanctioned contact with North Koreans and any activity deemed beneficial to North Korea.