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Principale » Spies admit campaign to sway South Korean election

Spies admit campaign to sway South Korean election

05 Août 2017

Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye, who was a hardliner on the nation's policy toward neighbouring North Korea, received help from election tampering during the 2012 national election.

South Korea's internal intelligence agency have admitted that they interfered with the country's 2012 Presidential Election.

The investigation has also revealed meddling attempts under Park's predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, who was president from 2008 to 2013.

In-house investigators from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) confirmed that the agency's cyber warfare unit organised and operated up to 30 teams for more than two years in the run-up to the 2012 elections, the agency said in a statement late on Thursday. Some of the comments described leftist candidates as North Korea sympathizers.

Won Sei-hoon, the former director of NIS, is already on trial for tampering with the election, and could face up to four years in prison.

"The teams were charged with spreading pro-government opinions and suppressing anti-government views, branding them as attempts by pro-North Korean forces to disrupt state affairs", said the report.

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Park Guen-hye beat her liberal opponent, Moon Jae-in in the 2012 and was returned as the first popularly-elected female President in the history of the East Asian region, but she is know standing trial in South Korea for corruption. The new president ordered an investigation into the spy agency's long-suspected tactics.

She is accused of abuse of power, bribery, coercion and leaking government secrets. Park's popularity has been decreasing since past year when she was impeached for helping Choi Soon-sil, an old friend, coerce businesses into donating large sums of money to foundations that Choi controls.

Former spy chief Won is being tried again for leading an online smear campaign against Mr Moon, after his initial conviction was overturned on appeal. He has vowed to prevent the spy agency from meddling in any future elections and has pushed intelligence officials to focus on foreign affairs.

Predictably, the task force's conclusions on the spy agency's political meddling drew mixed reactions from South Korea's main parties.

"It is clearly the NIS' unlawful political intervention", Kim Yoo-jung from the center-left People's Party said.

Spies admit campaign to sway South Korean election