But this is a claim that North Koreans have become witting pawns in the foreign espionage game. Not only North Koreans, but “functionaries who frequently visit third countries” who were recruited by a “foreign espionage organ” that used “money, women, threat and blackmail” to build a cadre of spies. These comments come from Ri Su Kil, a functionary at the State Security Department.
Now, the only North Koreans who frequent third countries are a small cadre of traders, and a much larger cadre of... cadre – government officials. These “functionaries” that the State Security Department is referring to, may well be government officials, corrupted, bribed and blackmailed into becoming agents of espionage for an unnamed foreign power.
Now that is a potentially significant development, far removed from the typical propaganda and warnings of foreign espionage and instability campaigns. If North Korean officials, who we already know go abroad to make cash and sell state historical treasures, are now coming back to record state secrets and sell them to the highest bidder (or the holder of a set of 8X10 glossies of said official in bed with an underage male prostitute), then the DPRK regime may be in worse internal shape that it previously appeared.
Now, as to the identity of the mysterious recruiting nation, well, the State Security Department says they won’t tell right now, it is too sensitive. But they WILL repeat several times that some of the spy equipment seized has a SONY label. When fed a question about this tidbit of information at the press conference, Ri coyly replies that whether or not the piece of equipment in question was manufactured by SONY or not, it is an “objective fact” that it was used for “a political and intelligence plotting maneuver.” Of course, repeating SONY is a less t
So, we have