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Arrest warrant sought for ex-national security adviser in fisheries official's death

National 13:46 November 29, 2022

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors sought an arrest warrant Tuesday for former National Security Adviser Suh Hoon as part of an investigation into the 2020 death of a fisheries official at the hands of North Korea.

Suh was accused of involvement in the then Moon Jae-in government's conclusion without sufficient evidence that the fisheries official was killed while attempting to defect to the North. He was also suspected of ordering key security officials to delete internal intelligence reports running counter to the conclusion.

Prosecutors suspect the then heads of the defense ministry and the state spy agency ordered the deletion of such reports inside their organizations at the instruction of Suh's office.

The 47-year-old fisheries official was fatally shot by the North's coast guard near the Yellow Sea border between the two Koreas, a day after going missing while on duty on board a fishery inspection vessel.

Former President Moon's government concluded the official was shot and killed while trying to defect to the North. But the Coast Guard and the military reversed the conclusion in June after President Yoon Suk-yeol took office, saying there was no evidence to suggest such motives.

Prosecutors questioned Suh twice last week, but he reportedly denied that he had either groundlessly concluded the fisheries official was attempting to flee to the North or ordered the deletion of relevant intelligence reports.

Suh is the first high-level security official from the Moon administration for whom an arrest warrant has been sought in the case as prosecutors are widening the investigation.

Former National Security Adviser Suh Hoon from the previous Moon Jae-in administration speaks during a press conference, in this file photo taken Oct. 27, 2022. (Yonhap)

Former National Security Adviser Suh Hoon from the previous Moon Jae-in administration speaks during a press conference, in this file photo taken Oct. 27, 2022. (Yonhap)

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