National Intelligence Service (South Korea) part 02



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Contemporary history

In 1994, the ANSP had a significant revision of its charter, which effectively limited its activities, following an agreement between Korea's ruling and opposition parties. As a result, an "Information Committee" in the National Assembly was established to lay a foundation for the agency's removal from the political scene and an assumption of political neutrality. The ANSP also began to develop procedures and mechanisms to thwart international crime and terrorism. In 1995, the ANSP moved to a new headquarters site in Naegok-dong, southern Seoul, from its previous location on Namsan mountain, in Imun-dong, where it had been located for the past 34 years.

Most specifics regarding the agency's organizational makeup remain classified by the Seoul government. A 1998 investigation by the Sisa Journal into the structure of the agency (then the ANSP) estimated that it employed some 60,000 employees across 39 headquarters and regionally-based departments, spending an estimated 700–800 billion South Korean won per year.

In the presidential election held in December 2012, NIS committed a serious crime secretly helping Park Geun-Hye's campaign, according to Korean police investigation report. Korean prosecutors are re-investigating this incident which could void the result of last year's presidential election. Former NIS chief Won Sei-hoon is awaiting trial on multiple charges including presidential election fraud.

In 2015, Hacking Team's breached data showed that NIS purchased spyware from Hacking Team. An agent related to the hack was found dead in an apparent suicide. In his note, he said that the agency didn't spy on civilians or on political reactions related to 2012's presidential election.

National Intelligence Service

In 1999, it was officially renamed the National Intelligence Service.

According to its official publications, the NIS is divided into three directorates: International affairs, Domestic affairs, and North Korean affairs. Its current officially stated mission assigns the NIS responsibility for the:

  • Collection, coordination, and distribution of information on the nation's strategy and security.
  • Maintenance of documents, materials, and facilities related to the nation's classified information.
  • Investigation of crimes affecting national security, such as the Military Secrecy Protection Law, the National Security Law.
  • Investigation of crimes related to the missions of NIS staff.
  • Planning and coordination of information and classified.

The election of Roh Moo-hyun to the South Korean presidency in 2003 brought more concerted efforts to reform the agency. Roh appointed Ko Young-koo, a former human rights lawyer, to the position of director, expressing a desire to find "someone who will set the agency straight". The anti-communist bureau of the agency was slated to be eliminated, and many domestic intelligence and surveillance activities were either abandoned or transferred to national police forces.

In December 2008, it was alleged by the official media-arm of North Korea, the Korean Central News Agency, that a NIS-trained North Korean citizen had been apprehended as part of a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-Il, the North Korean leader. Both the NIS and South Korean government have denied any involvement.

The NIS officially admitted in 2011 that it wiretapped Google's Gmail accounts of South Korean citizens in the South Korean Constitutional Court.

The 2012 budget for the NIS could potentially get cut as it had shown its inefficiencies.


See also

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