Ex-spy chief, ex-defense minister indicted in fisheries official’s death

SEOUL– Prosecutors on Thursday indicted former National Intelligence Service Director Park Jie-won and former Defense Minister Suh Wook without detention on charges connected to the 2020 death of a fisheries official at the hands of North Korea.

The top officials under the previous Moon Jae-in administration have been accused of involvement in the Moon government’s groundless conclusion that the fisheries official was killed while attempting to defect to the North.

The 47-year-old fisheries official was fatally shot by the North’s coast guard near the Yellow Sea border between the two Koreas, a day after going missing while on duty on board a fishery inspection vessel.

The government at that time concluded the official was shot and killed while trying to defect to the North. But the Coast Guard and the military reversed the conclusion in June, saying there was no evidence to suggest such motives.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office pressed charges against Park and Suh, alleging that they ordered officials of their respective organizations to delete internal intelligence reports that ran counter to the government conclusion.

Suh was additionally charged with having ministry officials compile a false report backing the government conclusion and circulating it.

According to recent findings by the Board of Audit and Inspection, 60 military intelligence reports and 46 other intelligence reports by the National Intelligence Service were deleted under the direction of the National Security Office.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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