South Korean spies swoop on leftist party

South Korean spies swoop on leftist party

SEOUL - South Korean spies raided the homes and offices of a minor leftist party on Wednesday and made three arrests on rare charges of seeking to start a rebellion in support of North Korea.

National Intelligence Service officers swooped on key members of the Unified Progressive Party (UPP) in Seoul including Lee Seok-Ki, a member of parliament. Lee was not arrested because he has parliamentary immunity.

The raids sparked an angry reaction from the party, which accused the conservative government of President Park Geun-Hye of starting a new "Yushin dictatorship" - a reference to the authoritarian rule of her late father Park Chung-Hee.

"The National Intelligence Service (NIS), commanded by the Suwon Prosecutors' Office, are currently in the course of implementing warrants to search and arrest," an NIS spokesman told AFP.

A spokesman at the prosecutors' office said three UPP members faced charges of seeking to start a rebellion and supporting the enemy - North Korea - in breach of the strict National Security Law.

Conservatives have accused Lee and the UPP of supporting the North Korean cause and ideology, a charge they flatly deny.

YTN television quoted an unidentified NIS official as saying that the UPP members had a plan to blow up infrastructure including communication networks in the South in times of a crisis with the North.

The UPP say the crackdown on them was aimed at fending off criticism over an alleged NIS attempt to rig last year's presidential election results.

More about

Purchase this article for republication.



Most Read

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.