August 20, 2006

S.Korea arrests suspected spy from North: agency

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea has arrested a suspected
North Korean spy trying to enter the country at a time when
tensions are running high on the peninsula, Yonhap news agency
reported on Monday.

The arrest report comes after North Korea defied
international warnings and test fired seven missiles on July 5.
News reports from the United States last week said North Korea
may be preparing to conduct its first nuclear weapons test.

South Korean intelligence agencies were not immediately
available to comment on the arrest report.

Yonhap reported that a source familiar with intelligence
matters said the suspect was a 48-year-old North Korean with
the family name Jeong.

He was arrested early this month and is expected to be
indicted later this week. He is the first North Korean spy
arrested trying to enter the country since 2003, the source

The source said the National Intelligence Service has
exposed eight North and South Koreans for spying for the North
since the current administration of South Korean President Roh
Moo-hyun took office in early 2003.

Fear of North Korean spies ran high in South Korea for
several decades following the 1950-1953 Korean War, especially
of North Korean agents were who trained for armed infiltration.

Armed North Korean agents tried to make their way into the
South's presidential Blue House in the late 1960s.

Concerns about armed North Korean agents started to subside
over the past several years as engagement between the two
Koreas has increased and democracy took root in the South,
which had once been ruled by military-backed leaders.