Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
DPRK state media reported that a spokesman for the Ministry of State Security [MSS] claimed on 7 November (Thursday) it had apprehended “an agent of the Intelligence Service of south Korea.” According to the MSS “a relevant institution recently intercepted an unidentified person in the capital city of Pyongyang” and that “at first he insisted that he was Chinese residing in the DPRK and then a citizen of a third country. As investigation progressed, he confessed he is a south Korean who intruded into Pyongyang after illegally entering the DPRK from a third country.” The MSS spokesman also said that “an initial investigation indicates that he was engaged in anti-DPRK espionage and plot-breeding activities in a third country bordering the DPRK for nearly six years, while disguising himself as a religionist” and the “he entered the DPRK to rally dishonest elements within the boundary of the DPRK and use them for undermining the stability of the social system in the DPRK.” KCNA concluded that “this fully proves to what extent the puppet group of conservatives has reached in its anti-DPRK moves” and reported that “an institution for state security is now intensifying investigation.” An unnamed official of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service told the Associated Press that the MSS’ allegations were “a ridiculous argument. It’s groundless.”
The MSS spokesman’s remarks, as reported in KCNA, do not provide a date of arrest or additional details about its investigation. In the last known case of a foreign national detained by the DPRK’s security services, the DPRK did not publicize the arrest until 43 days after it occurred.