North Korean spies are everywhere

In light of the recent discovery of a spy ring in Korea, a JoongAng Ilbo editorial is calling for the Korean public to wake up:

It is shocking that an underground spy ring – code-named Wangjaesan – has engaged in espionage for the past 18 years after receiving a directive from North Korean leader Kim Il Sung in a meeting in Pyongyang in August 1993.

Members of the group even received medals of honor from the North as a token of appreciation for their service. We are dumbfounded at the grim reality that a group of resident espionage agents, including an official who handled government secrets, could work as North Korean spies on a mission to foment a socialist revolution in the South for nearly two decades. Among them are people who were officially acknowledged as democratic movement leaders. The spy ring’s membership also includes a secretary of Assembly speaker Lim Chae-jung who served during the Roh Moo-hyun administration.

The BBC had this to add:

The ringleader, known as Mr Kim, operated in South Korea under a codename, setting up what prosecutors described as “an anti-national organisation” to send information back to the North, prosecutors said in a statement.

Two other men are alleged to have been responsible for reporting from Seoul and from the area of Incheon just outside the capital, where South Korea’s main airport is based.

JoongAng’s editor was definitely preaching to the choir. The Hanky reports that a right wing Christian Party, “The anti-Communist, pro-U.S. Citizens’ Campaign for Setting Right Church and Country” has been formed:

New Puritan Spiritual Training Center Director Rev. Jeon Gwang-hun, who spearheaded the forum effort, predicted that the event would serve as a preliminary meeting for the launch of a new Protestant Christian party.

“There is a growing consensus that the church needs to address the serious situation of social collapse, since it cannot be left to politicians alone to handle,” Jeon said. “While the goal of this forum is the ten topic discussions, I expect it will ultimately lead to a debate over a Christian party.”

Jeon said that he would put himself forward if veteran figures such as Cho and Kim undertake preliminary efforts on behalf of those seeking to establish a Christian party “in order to save a country that faces crisis due to leftist North Korea puppets and anti-Christian forces.”

But why stop there?

According to a publicity poster that was distributed for the forum by the organization and features the faces of Cho, Kim, and Rev. Kim Sam-hwan, the event will see the gathering of pastors from 3,000 leading churches in South Korea and feature discussions on ten topics. They include “the repudiation of country by pro-North Korea leftists and Communist unification,” “the Korean sukuk law and abnormal propagation of Islam,” “human rights issues in North Korea.”

The topics also include laws regarding homosexuality, attacks on the church by Internet media, church corruption and secularization, the Korean Teachers’ and Education Workers’ Union (KTU, Jeon Gyo Jo), and distorted representations of Christianity in textbooks.


Apparently there are spies everywhere  – even on Jeju Island where the protests against the naval base construction continue.  Nicole Erwin reports in Truthout:

Conservative newspapers have called the Gangjeong protesters leftists and North Korea supporters, hinting at communism. During the August 5 pro-base rally – which had been secret until only one day before – former Jeju Junior College Korean history Professor Seok Pyo Hang said that the date was kept secret to prevent North Korean spies from intervening.

“Pyongyang may enjoy the crisis happening in our society. The people coming from the outside, mostly the foreigners like those in Hangin, are North Korean, not Gangjeong villagers, “said Seok.

Foreign press was asked to leave the assembly. Korean press was allowed to walk freely among the demonstrators, some of whose banners called base protesters “garbage.”


But not all spies are Koreans – even if they pretend to be –  nor are they all in Korea.  According to the Province (August 26, 2011):

A U.S. diplomat disguised himself as a Korean tourist to probe a tiger farm in China where he voiced alarm at conditions that included whippings of the animals, a leaked memo said.

An internal U.S. diplomatic cable, released by WikiLeaks, questioned the intentions behind the Xiongsen Mountain Village. The 2007 cable narrated how an unidentified officer at the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou overcame the suspicions of Xiongsen’s staff by convincing them that he was a Korean tourist.

“The staff stated that up to three tour groups of Koreans came a day, numbering more than 30 in each group. The Koreans were among the most enthusiastic purchasers of both the black bear bile and the tiger wine, according to store staff,” the cable said.


And, finally, Stephen Kim is back in the news. Politico reports:

A judge in Washington has rejected defense motions to dismiss charges against a former State Department analyst charged with leaking top-secret intelligence about North Korea to Fox News.

Stephen Kim, who worked for the Energy Department but was detailed to Foggy Bottom, was charged last August with violating the Espionage Act by disclosing to James Rosen of Fox News that the U.S. believed North Korea was about to conduct a nuclear test. Kim was also charged with lying to FBI agents by denying contact with Rosen.

  • jefferyhodges

    Hard to see why anyone would still want to spy for North Korea, but I guess if ‘independent’ journalists like Lizzie Phelan were willing to spin propagandra for Gaddafi, the fact of South Korean spies for the North shouldn’t be too surprising.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Charles Tilly

    The may be everywhere, but I think with the new Minister of Justice (Kwon Jae Jin) and head of the Supreme Prosecutor (Han Sung Dae)-and along with the staffing decisions made to fill out lowers posts-the Republic of Korea has got the personnel in place to deal with it.

    Or is it that President Lee just placed those two fellas there to keep a lid on things politically during the twilight of his administration and the upcoming presidential election?

  • RolyPoly

    This is a good development. Korea right now has only two options – extreme Right or extreme Left.

    This Christian party should be extreme right in national defense and extreme left in domestic policies. Taking the good points from each camp, this KoreanChristian party could serve Korean people very well.

    And, this party will strengthen the relationship between Korea and the US better than any party. The extreme Right (Hannara) sometimes have to follow the nationalistic voices in Korea. The extreme Left is all f***ed up.

    So, the US should welcome this new party – unless it starts behaving strangely. I mean there are many pseudo-Christians who secretly working for the North. Other than that, I heartily welcome this development.

  • RolyPoly

    Face it. Princess Park GunHye dreaming the former glory of military dictatorship and Moon JaeIn partying with Jolla Commies, only viable option is the third option – a brand new party.

    This Christian party may just be the answer.

  • kuiwon

    There should be a 衛正斥邪 party.

  • hoju_saram

    This is a good development. Korea right now has only two options – extreme Right or extreme Left.

    Hasn’t Korea always had this problem? I’ve been lamenting the lack of Korean moderates for years.

  • RolyPoly

    You are such a showoff. Even I cannot read your Chinese characters- and, I know a lot.

    This was the main problem in Chosun times. A man can spend his whole life learning these waste time that he cannot learn any Engineering or Science. As a result, even generals were busy studying Chinese characters, rather than experimenting fighting techniques. Then, Japan ate up Korea.

    I wonder if the Chinese understand your combination. You know that the expressions Koreans are used to are not understood by the Chinese and some not even by the Japanese. So, you are basically communicating with only yourself.

    Know your audience.

  • RolyPoly

    The Hanja is just a tool of communication. One writes these symbols and the other understand your thought.

    Hanja is not a good communication tool. It takes too long to learn (lifetime) and then meaning is so compact that some are confusing or open to different interpretation.

    Very ancient and very poor method of communication.

    A tool that is so bad that even the Chinese may have to abandon in the future. I am sure young Chinese people will like to English words instead of your 사자성어. You are basically wasting your time in valueless art.

  • kuiwon

    I gave you a scientific issue as to why it’s a very efficient method of communication. Basically, you’re able to transmit more bits per symbol with Hanja than any alphabet.

    As to what 衛正斥邪 is. 衛正斥邪 = defend orthodoxy; reject heterodoxy. It’s a Neo-Confucian anti-Christian slogan. And I said it as a joke.

  • RolyPoly

    You are a joke, writing something here only 1% of reader may understand. You are basically wasting space and communication bit stream. 민폐.

    Do you know that there are many engineering design and computer languages that never got popular? Because they were f***king time-consuming to learn.

    People do not want to waste time learning something that is disappearing. You are so selfish. You just want to spread inefficiency because you have spent so much time to learn something almost useless.

    You remind me of Japanese-taught English teachers who blocked foreign English teachers from teaching in Korea for two years. 물귀신 작전.

  • kuiwon

    You are a joke, writing something here only 1% of reader may understand.

    Perhaps. Then again, I prefer talking to educated types. Not to dilettantes and ignoramus like you.

  • belair716_

    hoju_saram #6,

    “Hasn’t Korea always had this problem? I’ve been lamenting the lack of Korean moderates for years”.

    Agreed. I consider myself a moderate or I’m hoping to be one. I’m centre to right; or I’m around 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 (one being the left and 10 being the right). For example, I support the base on Jeju Island because I’m convinced that (we) south Koreans need it.

    Yet, I also enjoy reading comments by the leftists like Charles Tilly. I only wish my south Korean tweeps on Twitter were as reasonable as CT!

  • R. Elgin

    Korean Christian political groups are not a blessing by any means. If I heard correctly, before the school lunch vote, one such group declared that giving out free school lunches would make kids homosexual.

  • oranckay

    I for one am annoyed to see “anti-national organisation” instead of “anti-state” for ‘반국가단체’.

  • RolyPoly

    I was sorry to see a Yangban at this age of enlightenment. Your use of Hanja that nobody understand and your judging others through your esoteric understanding of useless art fits you perfect.

    You are a Chosun Yangban. Be very proud. Your type eventually led to the collapse of Chosun and led Korea to be the servant to the Japanese.

    Be very proud.

  • kuiwon

    Your arguments, RolyPoly, suit an old buffoon like you.

    nobody understand

    That’s 1025 million who according to you “[don’t] understand.”

  • RolyPoly

    Are you deaf? I have to write again and again that your Hanja combination is KoreanChinese! The real Chinese do not understand more than half of your 사자성어. Some of these combinations are made by Koreans and some by the Japanese. The Chinese in many cases use different expression.

  • kuiwon

    I have a lot of Chinese speaking/reading friends and acquaintances. Though they may use slightly different expressions, they understand most of what I say. I’ve held chats entirely in 漢文 before with my Taiwanese acquaintances — and one Korean friend who knows it pretty well too.

    RolyPoly, you advance ignorance and you are incredibly insecure and incredibly uncharitable (so Christian of you!). You advance no good arguments. I have given you scientific defense on a few occasions.

  • RolyPoly

    And, Mao simplified the Chinese characters. So, Kuiwon, some of your writings are in ancient writing mode of the Chinese characters. Young Chinese will not understand your writing.

    So, basically, you are writing something that very few people can understand the meaning of.

    Almost useless.

  • kuiwon

    It’s not like people who know simplified only know simplified. Taiwanese students are taught Classical Chinese from elementary school. Mainland Chinese students are also taught Classical Chinese — albeit simplified — from a young age. Classics is becoming more popular in Mainland China, in part due to the Chi-comms (중공).

    A few million people is not “a very few.” Going from Mandarin to Classical Chinese isn’t as big of a jump as say going from Italian to Latin. They’ll understand you.

    What is useless is you and your arguments. You have a prejudice toward it. And I’m younger than you. Stop pretending like you know everything that the younger generation does or have interest in.

  • cmm

    I’m enjoying this Rolypoly 대 Kuiwon exchange. Or shall I say crass 대 class. Crass just doesn’t wanna give up.

  • Maekchu

    Oh my Lord…I actually agree with Baduk on this one. Going on a blog and posting some mish-mash foreign language words that only 1 in a hundred would comprehend is a douche move and reminds me of the douche fake-intellectual that Matt Damon embarrassed in Good Will Hunting. I wonder if kuiwon has a ponytail.

    I could post some Tagalog or Cebuano words on here but it wouldn’t add to the discussion since few would comprehend and nobody would be impressed because it would be ANNOYING! Good on you Baduk…I mean Roly…for laying the smack down!