Crime & Justice

Former South Korean officials indicted over fisheries worker execution

Seoul, Dec 29 (EFE).- South Korean prosecutors on Thursday indicted former defense minister Suh Wook and former intelligence chief Park Jie-won on charges connected to the case of a fisheries ministry official who was executed by North Korean soldiers in 2020.

The public prosecutor’s office accuses the pair of involvement in the then-liberal government’s conclusion that the official, Lee Dae-jun, was killed trying to defect to North Korea and of ordering subordinate personnel to delete internal reports that countered the conclusion.

In June, the military and Coast Guard determined that there was no evidence to support motives for defection as per the last administration’s claim.

Suh is also accused of having commissioned personnel from his ministry to compile a false report backing the conclusion, and circulating it.

According to a recent audit, 60 military intelligence reports and 46 reports from the National Intelligence Service were deleted by order of the National Security Office, whose then-main officer, Suh Hoon, is in custody.

On Sep. 21, 2020, Lee, 47, disappeared from the fishery inspection vessel he was working on in the Yellow Sea and was found drifting a day later by a North Korean vessel. He was shot dead in the water by North Korean soldiers on the boat, and his body burned.

The soldiers apparently executed the official in line with the extreme anti-Covid-19 protocols imposed by Kim Jong-un’s regime.

Lee’s family has claimed that the then ruling Democratic Party offered them money to support their defection conclusion. EFE


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