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Court issues warrant for ex-national security adviser over slain official case

National 05:46 December 03, 2022

By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- A Seoul court issued an arrest warrant on Saturday for former National Security Adviser Suh Hoon on charges of irregularities surrounding the 2020 death of a South Korean government official at the hands of North Korea.

Suh is accused of being involved in the previous Moon Jae-in government's conclusion without sufficient evidence that the official was killed while attempting to defect to the North.

Suh is also suspected of having ordered key security officials to delete internal intelligence reports that contradicted the conclusion that the South Korean official was planning to defect.

The court cited the seriousness of the case and the possibility of Suh trying to destroy evidence as reasons for issuing the arrest warrant.

The official was fatally shot by North Korean coast guard members near the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea, a day after going missing while on duty on board a fishery inspection vessel.

The former Moon government had concluded that the official was shot and killed while trying to defect to the North. But the Coast Guard and the military reversed that conclusion in June after President Yoon Suk-yeol took office, saying there was no evidence to suggest that an attempted defection took place.

On Thursday, Moon expressed deep concern over the prosecution's ongoing investigation into the death, saying that a "matter of national security" should not be a "subject of political strife."

Former National Security Adviser Suh Hoon enters the Seoul Central District Court on Dec. 2, 2022. (Yonhap)

Former National Security Adviser Suh Hoon enters the Seoul Central District Court on Dec. 2, 2022. (Yonhap)

khj@yna.co.kr
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