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S. Korea's spy agency launches reform committee

All News 16:14 June 19, 2017

SEOUL, June 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's spy agency on Monday launched an in-house reform committee to head its efforts to insulate itself from politics and regain public trust.

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) committee set up two task forces under its wing each tasked with probing the agency's illegal involvement in domestic politics and overhauling its organizations.

The reform of the NIS was one of President Moon Jae-in's election pledges. Moon seeks to prohibit the spy agency from meddling in internal politics and make it focus on overseas operations.

On June 1, new NIS Director Suh Hoon ordered a ban on domestic intelligence operations to gather information on government ministries, media and other organizations.

"The launch of the committee will be a historic starting point for the NIS to be reborn," Suh said in a statement.

The move is aimed at regaining public confidence and rebuilding itself as a credible intelligence agency, it said.

Some NIS agents were suspected of being mobilized to post online comments to affect the presidential election in 2012, when conservative candidate Park Geun-hye clinched a victory over Moon.

A task force aimed at rooting out such practices will investigate suspected cases of intervention in politics and report the results of the probe to the committee.

Another panel will discuss ways to revamp the agency's organizations, it added.

This file photo shows Suh Hoon, new head of the National Intelligence Service, South Korea's spy agency. (Yonhap)


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