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16th of October 2018

International



Seoul court acquits North Korean defector of spying after 49 years

SEOUL, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- A Seoul court acquitted a former vice president of North Korea's state-run Korea Central News Agency, who defected to the South in 1967, of charges of spying.

The Seoul Central Court found Lee not guilty in in a retrial, held in 49 years after he was executed in 1969, Yonhap News reported.

Former KCNA Vice President Lee Soo-keun arrived in the South by crossing the border village of Panmunjom in March 1967. He was soon accused of being a North Korean spy, having engaged in espionage activities, including collecting military secrets.

He left for Hong Kong, using a fake passport, but was arrested by the South Korean intelligence.

The court said Lee was forced to make a false confession under forced investigations.

The Commission of Truth and Reconciliation, established to investigate past cases fabricated under state power abuse, discovered in 2007 that Lee was tortured severely by investigators and there's no substantial evidence to prove he was a spy.

The court said Lee must have had decided to leave for Hong Kong, using a fake passport as he was tired of being accused.

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