Sunday, June 16, 2013

North Korea's presence in South Korean politics

The long, tragic division of Korea continues to shape political realities on the peninsula, both north and south.  As reported by The New York Times, state prosecutors in South Korea have charged agents from the nation’s National Intelligence Service with writing more than 5,000 posts on the Internet in a psychological warfare campaign against North Korea since 2009, using some of them to attack domestic opposition parties and their candidates ahead of South Korea’s presidential election last December.

The report noted that "The agents’ top supervisor, Won Sei-hoon, the former director of the intelligence agency, was accused of overseeing the online operation and was indicted on Friday. Prosecutors said they did not indict the nine agents because they were simply obeying Mr. Won’s instructions — a decision that the political opposition called a whitewash on Friday."

Also according to The New York Times, "Prosecutors saw at least 73 of the posts uploaded by the agents between September and December as attempts to influence the presidential election. The posts criticized the main opposition Democratic Party and a minor progressive party and their presidential candidates, accusing them of being too soft on North Korea or sympathizing with it."

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