Intelligence: February 10, 2003

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Last week, the FBI arrested a 59 year old South Korean immigrant, Yai Joung-woong, and charged him with spying for North Korea. The FBI says they watched Yai (known as "John Yai") since 1997. Yai is charged with working for the North Koreans from 1997 to 2000. Yai is charged with trying to recruit other Koreans to work for North Korea and selling the North Koreans unclassified information. Yai also traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic to meet with North Korean officials, and receive payments of $30,500. Yai is likely to get hit with a tax evasion charge. The FBI also observed Yai communicating with North Korean intelligence agents via encrypted email and fax. Yai has lived in the United States for twenty years. It is not unusual for South Koreans and Koreans living in Japan to spy for North Korea. Many of these Koreans believe in the policies of North Korea, especially the extreme nationalism of the North Koreans. These Korean spies are sometimes used to assist North Korea's illegal money making activities (drugs and counterfeit currency). It's also not unusual for these North Korean agents to scam the northerners, who are often considered a bunch of out-of-touch communist bumpkins.

 


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