Recently, the National Intelligence Service (국가정보원, Kuk’ka chŏng po wŏn), the former Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA), apprehended two North Korean spies. All North Koreans who defect to the South are subjected to thorough interrogations to ensure that they aren’t spies. The South has had trouble with purported defectors before. One of them came to South Korea claiming to have defected. She had previously held some fairly high ranking jobs in the North Korean government. She lectured to the military on certain aspects of North Korean intelligence. Perhaps trying to be the North’s version of the femme fatale, she had an affair with a senior military official of the South and was thus able to send back to North Korea some highly valuable intelligence. Fortunately, the National Intelligence Service caught her. She is currently in prison in South Korea.
The two spies caught by the NIS were on a mission to assassinate Hwang Jang-yop. Hwang is the architect of Kim Il-sung’s Juche ideology. He taught Kim Jong-il himself during the time he was a professor at Kim Il-sung University in P’yŏngyang. He is a frequent and vocal critic of North Korea. Some of his writings can be seen in English at the website http://www.dailynk.com. In 1997, while on business for the North Korean regime, he walked into the South Korean Embassy in Beijing and demanded asylum. He is an outspoken critic of Kim Dae Jung’s Sunshine Policy as well. He is the highest-ranking official of North Korea to have defected.
You can read more about this case in the Joongang Ilbo by clicking here.