South Korean spy reportedly expelled from Libya
July 29, 2010 1 Comment
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Libya has expelled a South Korean intelligence officer and has shut down its mission in Seoul, according to South Korean diplomatic sources. The unnamed officer, who was expelled by the Libyans on June 18, is reportedly a member of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service who was stationed in the Libyan capital Tripoli. He was arrested in early June, after having been kept under surveillance for three months by Libyan counterintelligence officers. During that period, he was reportedly photographed in the act of bribing a Libyan intelligence officer. Some reports suggest that the expelled spy attempted to collect intelligence on Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, his family and senior Libyan government members. Other sources allege that he was gathering information on defense industry contacts between Libya and North Korea. What is certain is that the expulsion prompted Tripoli to effectively shut down its Economic Cooperation Bureau in Seoul, a diplomatic extension office that functions as Libya’s de-facto embassy in the South Korean capital. The move apparently caused enough concern in Seoul to prompt the South Korean government to send a high-level delegation to Tripoli, headed by Lee Sang-deuk, older brother of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, in order to “clarify the misunderstanding”. But no breakthrough has been reported. The June 18 incident marked the first known expulsion of a South Korean intelligence officer anywhere in the world since 1988.