Go to Contents Go to Navigation

Ex-NIS Director Suh returns home amid probe into repatriation of N. Korean fishermen

All News 15:43 August 01, 2022

By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) -- Former National Security Adviser Suh Hoon has returned home from the United States recently to face allegations of wrongdoing in connection with the 2019 repatriation of two North Korean fishermen.

Suh was accused of ordering an early end to a government debriefing of the North Koreans captured near the inter-Korean sea border when he was the country's spy chief, in a suspected attempt to send them back to their homeland despite their expression of a desire to defect to South Korea.

Suh, who had stayed in the U.S. for months at the invitation of a think tank, returned home late last month, and prosecutors plan to call in him for questioning after wrapping up investigations of working-level officials first.

Prosecutors had put Suh on a list of people whose entry is automatically notified to authorities.

The North Koreans' repatriation is one of the two suspicious cases involving the former Moon Jae-in administration that President Yoon Suk-yeol's government is revisiting, along with the North's killing of a South Korean fisheries official near the western sea border in 2020.

The Moon administration was accused of mishandling the two cases in an attempt to curry favor with Pyongyang so as to move the stalled inter-Korean peace process forward.

The North Koreans had expressed a desire to defect, but the then Moon administration determined their intentions as insincere and repatriated them, citing their confessions to killing 16 fellow crew members.

Despite the alleged confessions, critics say the government should have investigated the North Koreans and punished them according to the law without repatriating them as long as they expressed an intention to defect.

Ex-NIS Director Suh returns home amid probe into repatriation of N. Korean fishermen - 1


Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!