Disputed April election in South Korea paved way for eliminating counterintelligence

FPI / December 13, 2020


South Korean leftist president Moon Jae-In and his ruling Democratic Party are close to achieving a long-desired goal of dismantling the country’s counterintelligence capability.

Moon Jae-In holds a sign reading ‘Abolish the NIS, Recover Democracy’.

Similar laws in the past had been rejected by South Korea’s parliament. However the April 15, 2020 general election, the results of which were disputed as fraudulent and seen by some analysts as a precursor to the recent U.S. elections, gave Moon’s ruling party and its satellite party 60 additional seats for a total of 180 seats, enough to give the ruling party the legislative majority it needs to pass almost any law without the help of other parties.

Related: Allegations of fraud in South Korean elections called warning on new voting technologies, May 8, 2020

Tara O, director of the East Asia Research Center, noted in a Dec. 3 analysis that two bills, the Amendment to the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Act and the Amendment to the National Security Act, would:

• Remove NIS’s capability to catch North Korean spies/agents
• Abolish the National Security Law

The elimination of counterintelligence comes as North Korea reportedly has at least 1,000 espionage operatives operating in South Korea.

“These agents recruit spies,” Tara O noted.

According to Kim Dong-Sik, a North Korean agent sent to South Korea who was caught after a shootout pursuit, the operatives are not the worker bee level activists who merely attend demonstrations disguised as “democracy movements,” but are people in leadership positions who communicate with North Korea’s anti-South Korea espionage organizations, and plan and direct anti-U.S. and anti-South Korea activities.

The Democratic Party vowed to pass the amendments to the NIS Act and the National Security Act at the plenary session on Dec. 9.

The legislation removes the NIS’s authority for national security investigations and limits domestic intelligence collection.

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