Alleged North Korean spy arrested in Tokyo on suspicion of fraud

Tokyo police on Tuesday arrested a Korean, who they alleged is a spy for Pyongyang, on suspicion of illegally obtaining a credit card and using it for online purchases.

The Public Security Bureau of the Metropolitan Police Department believes Pak Chae Hun was engaged in espionage activities to indoctrinate people in South Korea and China with North Korean ideology.

He is a former associate professor of Korea University, a pro-Pyongyang school based in Tokyo.

The Public Security Bureau suspects Pak, 49, was also in charge of Japan operations since being recruited by North Korea’s intelligence agency around 2000.

Pak, a resident of Nerima Ward, Tokyo, was arrested on a fraud charge. He is suspected of purchasing six computer peripherals from a Tokyo-based online shopping company using a credit card he obtained using a fake name and birthday.

Pak was quoted by investigators as saying he does not have a clear memory of the incident.

The Public Security Bureau searched his home last June 10 on a separate fraud charge and found written instructions and encrypted email messages from North Korea’s spy agency on his computer.

Public Security Bureau investigators said Pak served as assistant director of Korea University’s school of business administration and was also vice chairman of an organization affiliated with the pro-Pyongyang group Chongryon, otherwise known as the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan.

A day after the search, he quit his post at the university and other posts related to Chongryon.

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