5 South Koreans indicted over alleged espionage

Last Updated: Thu, Aug 25, 2011 10:40 hrs

Five South Koreans, including a former parliamentary aide, have been indicted for allegedly spying for North Korea, prosecutors said Thursday.

The five civilians passed military secrets and other sensitive information to North Korea beginning in the early 1990s, Seoul prosecutors said in a statement.

Information funneled to North Korea included satellite photos of military bases in South Korea, U.S. military field manuals and information on South Korean politicians, the prosecutors said.

The five allegedly violated South Korea's National Security Law, whose maximum penalty is capital punishment, according to the Seoul District Prosecutor's Office.

The two Koreas are still technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

South Korea's new Prosecutor-General said in his inaugural speech earlier this month that he would wage a war against "pro-North Korean forces." The investigation into the alleged spy ring had begun before he took office.

One of the five indicted had been an aide to a South Korean parliamentary speaker, according to the prosecutors. They declined to identify whom he had served.

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