NORTH KOREAN DEFECTOR SENTENCED IN MURDER PLOT AGAINST FELLOW DEFECTOR AMID CLAIMS SOUTH KOREAN INTELLIGENCE IGNORED HIS TIPOFF

The North Korean defector designated solely in the Seoul Central District Court by his last name of Ahn, drew a four year prison sentence earlier this month for conspiring to murder Park Sang-hak, another North Korean defector who has become a high profile anti-Pyongyang activist. When arrested in September of 2011, Ahn, known to have served in the North’s special services, was in possession of a number of weapons, including gun with bullet covered in a lethal chemical, and pen in which was hidden a needle dipped in poison. His defection to the South occurred 17 years ago and he held a position in Seoul dealing with international economic projects. According to the Yonhap News account, North Korean intelligence contacted Ahn while he was on business in Mongolia two years ago and subsequently directed him to conduct the hit on Park, leader of the organization Fighters for Free North Korea that routinely launches hot air balloons containing anti-Pyongyang messages and shortwave radios across the border into North Korea. Ahn alleged he apprised the South Korean National Intelligence Service of the assassination conspiracy and proposed he spy on North Korea, but his information and offer were brushed aside and, furthermore, he was threatened with legal proceedings. He asserted as well that his anger over being slighted prompted him to go forward with the plot. An additional penalty imposed by the court was a fine for 11.75 million Won, equivalent to $10,399, and corresponding to the anticipated payment from the North Korean regime for Park’s assassination.


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