South Korea charges four labor leaders with spying for North

Seoul, May 10 (EFE).- South Korea on Wednesday charged four leaders of the country’s main labor union with spying for North Korea.

Prosecutors alleged that leaders of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) used labor activities as a cover to spy for North Korea.

A court in the Suwon district, south of Seoul, indicted the KCTU officials aged 48, 51, 52 and 54 – whose names have been withheld – for spying, communicating and meeting with North Korean spies among other violations of the National Security Act.

The NSA, which dates back to 1948, prohibits South Koreans from activities supporting the North Korean regime. The controversial act also criminalizes possessing materials produced in North Korea.

South Korea has technically remained at war with the North since 1950.

According to the prosecution’s probe, the four accused had formed an underground organization to gain control of the labor union and staged demonstrations against government policies, including protests against Japan and the United States, allegedly at the behest of Pyongyang.

They are also accused of meeting North Korean secret agents between 2017 and 2022 in Cambodia, Vietnam and China and receiving hundreds of written instructions.

The four union leader also allegedly passed on information to Pyongyang about trade union elections and shared images of the US military base in the South Korean city of Pyeongteak.

South Korean prosecutors, the national intelligence agency and police officials claim to have seized 90 written instructions by North Korea during the investigation, in which the accused were ordered to gather information about the power supply to the South Korean presidential office and a navy fleet, among others topics.

All four have denied the charges and refused to answer prosecutors’ questions, according to the local Yonhap news agency. EFE


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