Reports: South Korean arrested on spying charges

A former officer in South Korea’s military reserve has been arrested on charges of passing documents to a North Korea agent, according to South Korean media reports.

The individual, who was only identified as a 37-year old with the family name of “Jeon,” was arrested under the National Security Law for allegedly passing information to North Korea on five occasions between November 2011 and January 2013, said the Joong Ang Ilbo.

Jeon first made contact with an agent working for North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau in late 2011 when he was running an business that collected cyber money from online games, said The Korea Herald.

The Reconnaissance General Bureau is one of North Korea’s intelligence agencies and runs clandestine operations including infiltration of South Korea and Japan. It was named in U.S. Executive Order 13382 that set out trade sanctions against the DPRK.

Jeon reportedly told investigators that he contacted the agent to obtain the software he used for his business, and that the agent later asked him for information from South Korea.

It included a list of individuals that had come through Hanawon, the South Korean government center for defectors, and the Internet address of a server at the Public Procurement Service (PPS). Jeon reportedly failed on both those attempts.

But he succeeded in obtaining and sending training documents related to defense project bidding by private companies.

Jeon collected 160 million won (US$146,000) from the cyber gaming money software, of which he kept 50 million won with the rest going to the Reconnaissance General Bureau, the reports said.