the Korean National Intelligence Agency (the former Ministry of national security planning) is known as the country’s largest Intelligence Agency
the Korean National Intelligence Agency (the former Ministry of national security planning) is known as the country’s largest intelligence agency
for fear of domestic people interfering in the presidential election by external forces, South Korean intelligence agencies kidnapped a North Korean citizen with official identity to Seoul to try to obtain a confession, but finally ended up “losing his wife and folding his soldiers”.
the New South Korean presidential election is less than two months away. While various camps were busy canvassing for votes, the newly published South Korean magazine “new East Asia” disclosed an old story that had been dusty for more than ten years.
this article wrote that since the establishment of the democratic system, every election year, South Korean politics can not avoid several scandals involving election manipulation, among which the “bribery incident” in 1998 is the most bizarre. What’s more incredible is that due to the suspect’s involvement with North Korea, the South Korean security planning department (now the National Intelligence Agency) even kidnapped a North Korean citizen with official identity to Seoul (now Seoul) for interrogation in violation of international law; After he managed to escape, he found the media and broke the news, which embarrassed the South Korean intelligence agency.
North Korean officials fell into the kidnapping trap
in December 1997, the Ministry of security and enterprises of the Republic of Korea obtained an intelligence that Han Chengji, assistant to the president of a large enterprise group, and Zhang Xichong, a South Korean businessman with business contacts with the North Korea, rushed to the second secret meeting with North Koreans on the eve of the 15th presidential election, It was proposed to the DPRK that “in order to create a favorable situation for new Korean party candidate Li Huichang, please create armed friction in Panmunjom in order to suppress candidate Kim Dae Jung from the National Assembly”. This is the so-called “bribery incident”.
subsequently, the Ministry of security and enterprises controlled Han Chengji, Zhang Xizhong and Wu Jingen, the “behind the scenes” official of the presidential palace of qingwatai, who had a close relationship with Li Huichang, “In order to help the New South Korean party win the election, North Korea (DPRK) has repeatedly made requests for armed demonstrations in Panmunjom and promised to give economic benefits in return,” the Three wrote in their statement On September 24, 1998, the three people were formally prosecuted. Due to many behind the scenes transactions, the case finally ended with a suspended sentence on the grounds of “illegal facts are established, but some details are unknown”. The “bribery incident” once hotly discussed by public opinion can be described as a tiger head and snake tail. During the trial of the
cases, the Ministry of security and enterprises, eager to find out the truth, came up with an extremely bold idea: kidnap North Korean insiders directly from overseas to obtain confessions. Soon, they locked in Choe Jen soo, a North Korean “businessman” who had many contacts with Zhang Xichong. The latter was actually an official of the North Korean Foreign Economic Commission. He was responsible for attracting investment and had long-term contacts with Asian countries. In turn, he promoted North Korean antique porcelain and paintings to South Korean customers. In the name of doing business, the agents of the security enterprise department gradually approached Cui Renzhu.
in order to win this “big fish”, the security and enterprise department specially set up a working group to arrange disguised agents to meet Cui in a third country on the pretext that “the value of the goods is too high, we’d better go to Seoul for negotiation”. Cui Renzhu readily agreed. Unexpectedly, his bad luck began.
after months of interrogation, Yu Fang knew that he had caught the wrong person.
in June 1998, Cui Renzhu flew to Seoul on a Korean Airlines flight. Before he knew the East, West, North and south, he was sent by the “customer” to a villa in Gudong in ruicao District of Seoul and put under house arrest in a room on the second floor. He never thought that this building was actually the “black prison” of the Ministry of security and enterprise of South Korea. Cui Renzhu didn’t realize it until the working group of the Ministry of security and enterprise and the working group dedicated to investigating “defectors” appeared. He strongly protested: why not talk about business, but talk about the “bribery incident”?
South Korean agents see that the target is unwilling to cooperate, so they fight against it. Cui Renzhu can only deal with it with lies he doesn’t believe. As time went by, the security and enterprise department gradually realized that kidnapping was a big mistake. Cui was not the one who could provide the details of the “bribery incident”. As the interrogators gradually lost their willingness to continue, the surveillance of Cui Renzhu gradually relaxed.
on the evening of July 15, the special agent of the security and enterprise department in charge of guarding threw Cui Renzhu alone in the room and ran away to other places. Paradoxically, they neither tied up the North Koreans nor locked the door. Realizing that the opportunity was rare, Cui Renzhu quietly left the room, ran downstairs in the dark and crept to the gate. The door of the villa has long been locked and surrounded by high walls. Fortunately, there was a small door in the corner. Cui passed through the door and slipped into the street smoothly.
the media showed mercy to keep the scandal from spreading
although Cui Renzhu was familiar with the situation of the metropolis after his first return to Seoul. Determined to leave the land of right and wrong as soon as possible, he stood on the roadside shouting for a long time and finally stopped a taxi. With a better understanding of South Korea’s national conditions, his first thought was to find the media to break the news, so he told the taxi driver: “go to newspaper a (in a comprehensive context, newspaper a should be South Korea’s central daily)!” Later, when a South Korean reporter asked Cui Renzhu why he wanted to go to a newspaper, he explained: “in North Korea, the most famous media is Korean Central Broadcasting and in China is CCTV, so in my personal mind, South Korea a newspaper should also be the most famous.” Cui Renzhu, who arrived at the newspaper office, looked like a beggar. Regardless of his appearance, he grabbed the guard: “I’m Korean, hurry to save me and take me to the reporter!” The guard dared not neglect him and hurriedly led him to the editorial department of the newspaper.
soon, the reporter surnamed Li of the Korean special issue of a newspaper saw Cui Renzhu, the two sides had a three hour conversation. Cui Renzhu described the incident in detail and asked reporter Li to take pictures of the place where he was injured. What makes Li feel unreasonable is that when he called the security and enterprise department to verify the situation, the other party said: “no one here has escaped.” However, less than an hour later, an important person in charge of overseas work of the security and enterprise department visited a newspaper office in person and proposed to take Cui Renzhu away. He also asked reporter Li to “show mercy” and never report Cui’s escape. Probably worried about the lack of public relations, another half an hour later, Li Zhongzan, Minister of an enterprise, also called the editor in chief of a newspaper. First, he admitted that “there was a mistake in recklessly bringing North Koreans to Seoul”, hoping that the newspaper would “understand the difficulties” and “if the world knows about this matter, it will cause losses to the image of South Korea. I hope your newspaper will keep quiet.” As a result of
, newspaper a, which has been talking about “liberalization” for many years, has given face to the security and enterprise department. “After all, this newspaper was once supported by the government. The ‘government’s mouth’ can’t always scold the government.” After some bargaining, the officials of the security and enterprise department took Cui Renzhu away and promised to “ensure his personal safety and ensure the transparency and openness of decision-making no matter how to deal with it in the future”. However, this promise soon proved to be a false promise. Since then, the Ministry of security and enterprise still tried every means to make Cui “subordinate” to South Korea, but failed. The Ministry of security and enterprise had to secretly send him abroad six months later. Cui Renzhu was soon recalled to North Korea, and there was no news since then.
the aftermath of the incident is not over. On May 26, 1999, qianrongzhai succeeded Li Zhongzan as the president of the National Intelligence Agency renamed and reorganized after Kim Dae Jung was elected. All officials related to the Cui Renzhu incident were dismissed overnight. In this way, the kidnapping of North Korean officials by South Korean agents not only failed to solve any problems, but ended up “losing your wife and losing your soldiers”.