Ex-NIS Chief Hints of Political Pressure in Il Shim Hue Investigation

The Chosun Ilbo spoke with  Kim Seong-Kew, who  just resigned as Chief of the National Intelligence Service. Read this and see what you make of it:

Asked who will succeed him, Kim told the Chosun Ilbo it was “very important” who becomes the next NIS chief. “Some of the candidates are unsuitable due to concerns that they tend to do what [politicians] want them to do. Considering the presidential election next year and the operations of the NIS, the right candidate would be politically neutral and have a global view and knowledge,” he said.

Kim would neither confirm nor deny that he was directly or indirectly pressured over the investigation by other former student activists of the so-called 386 generation now in influential positions. “I don’t care,” he said. “The investigation of North Korean spies will continue until the truth is found, and everyone [in the NIS] will work hard to do that even if it costs them their job, regardless of my resignation. He said “everyone” in the agency was conducting the probe with “a strong sense of patriotism and is working to improve our nation’s security by arresting North Korean spies. The remarks hint at discord either between the NIS and some politicians or within the NIS over the investigation. The NIS chief tendered his resignation to President Roh Moo-hyun on Thursday, when news of the spy scandal broke, reportedly saying he did not “want to be a burden” in the planned reshuffle of the foreign and security lineup.

I would be very interested in seeing just how far this one goes.