Updated: 03/12/2014 13:52 | By Agence France-Presse

S. Korea spy chief takes heat in forged spy case

South Korea's spy agency chief came under growing pressure to step down Wednesday over a scandal with political ramifications involving the fabrication of evidence in an espionage case.


S. Korea spy chief takes heat in forged spy case

The skyline of Seoul is shown at dusk on February 4, 2014. South Korea's spy agency chief has come under pressure to step down over a scandal with political ramifications involving the fabrication of evidence in an espionage case - by Ed Jones

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) has been accused of forging documents -- including Chinese border control records -- to build a spying case against a former Seoul City official who escaped to South Korea from North Korea in 2004.

China has confirmed that the documents were not authentic, forcing the NIS to deny allegations that it was behind the forgery.

Last week, the case took a dramatic turn when an NIS informant linked to the forgeries attempted to commit suicide. He survived and was arrested by state prosecutors Wednesday.

President Park Geun-Hye on Monday expressed "deep regret" over the scandal and called for a thorough investigation.

Hours later, prosecutors raided the NIS headquarters in southern Seoul.

With local elections due in early June, lawmakers from Park's ruling Saenuri Party have called for NIS Director Nam Jae-Joon to resign.

"It is a very disturbing issue. I was appalled at the suspected forgery and cover-up attempts", Shim Jae-Chul, a senior Saenuri lawmaker, told a meeting of top party officials.

"It seems inevitable for Director Nam to take responsibility," Shim said.

It is a sensitive case for President Park who appointed Nam a year ago.

The spy agency, which has changed titles over the years, had a particularly notorious reputation in the decades of authoritarian rule before South Korea embraced democracy in the 1980s.

The modern-day NIS has also been tainted by a series of scandals, most recently the admission by some agents that they had meddled in the 2012 presidential election.

Nam's predecessor as NIS chief, Won Sei-Hoon, was convicted last month of taking bribes and jailed for two years.

Won faces separate charges over the election meddling scandal, accused of organising an online smear campaign against the opposition party candidate.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。