South Korea downplays alleged US spying after leak of classified documents

Seoul, Apr 10 (EFE).- The South Korean president’s office on Monday reacted cautiously over the alleged spying by United States’ intelligence agencies – flagged by US media outlets The New York Times and The Washington Post – after classified reports linked to the Ukraine War were leaked to social networks.

A high official from the South Korean presidential office told local news agency Yonhap on the condition of anonymity that the government had not yet determined if the reports (of the leaks) were true, and Seoul would get in touch with Washington in this regard.

Another official reiterated South Korea’s trust in the US, and said that Washington had promised to share the results of an investigation being carried out into the case by the US Department of Justice and the Pentagon.

The two US dailies had reported that dozens of pages of classified documents prepared during the winter – many of them apparently originating in the Pentagon – were allegedly leaked to the social network Discord in late February and early March.

The documents appear to throw light on the US intelligence agencies’ penetration into the Russian establishment and Washington’s knowledge of the true military capabilities and shortcomings of Kyiv, but they also offer apparent proof of espionage against allies such as South Korea or Ukraine itself.

The reports show that through “signals intelligence” – a term that often refers to eavesdropping or intercepting communications – US intelligence allegedly spied on the South Korean presidential office’s National Security Council as it was debating the possibility of supplying artillery shells to Washington, with concerns over them eventually being send to Ukraine.

So far, South Korea has not supplied any objects of lethal use in the battlefield to Ukraine.

The apparent espionage could especially complicate issues in the diplomatic arena, as it comes just two weeks before South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is set to embark on a state visit to the US. EFE


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